Some of the comment and debate around Manchester United getting 30 plus penalties since the start of last season has been quite laughable recently.
It has caused a bit of a stir and has even got under the skin of some of the best in the game.
The sight of Jurgen Klopp moaning because Manchester United have received a shed load of spot kicks was extremely amusing, given how fortunate his side have been when it comes to refereeing decision in recent years.
It is a debate that has always gone on in this modern age of social media and everyone having an opinion.
It makes for great debate, it makes for great radio and great TV and it fills column inches in newspapers.
But the fact of the matter is we can moan about big clubs getting the decisions in their favour until we are blue in the face.
It is just a fact of sport these days that top teams get the top decisions.
They always have done and continue to do so. Why that is, is less easy to analyse and explain but they always will.
A study a couple of seasons ago found that big clubs earn penalties on average ever 4.6 games, where as those down the bottom see spot kicks awarded in their favour every 15.5 games.
So there isn’t really much of a debate on the matter. It is fact, there in black and white.
Those figures haven’t altered much over the last few years. They may have fluctuated and in United’s case the average time they receive a penalty has gone down.
You can’t blame the club, that is an idiotic thing to do. It isn’t a club’s fault if they get more penalty kicks or other decisions.
In the past it has been down to the manager. We’ve all heard about the influence Sir Alex Ferguson could have on referees and there is no doubt his presence or character has led to penalty decisions for United.
You could argue the referee’s feel the pressure more at bigger grounds than they do at smaller ones, and they could lead to decisions going in one team’s favour.
In empty stadiums where the pressure of supporters is now removed, the pressure is less and therefore more recent statistics from the last six months would probably show a slight evening out of top club decisions.
One certainty and one nailed on reason why some clubs get more penalties is because, a lot of the time they are fouled more.
They have trickier players who get in dangerous areas and are fouled by lesser talented players.
But when there are marginal decisions, border line ones where the referees don’t know what to do, more often than not it will be the big team who is the winner.
That should, on the face of it, not be the case in this day an age, but as we have seen through the shambles of VAR that isn’t the case at the moment.
The reason behind these stats and the favour towards bigger sides isn’t really the point. There could be a raft of reasons, more than I’ve explained in this piece.
But the bottom line is the stats are there and it will continue to happen. The big sides get the bigger decisions, it is a fact of football that we have to accept.