Ranking every Premier League club by how biased the media is against them

Matt Stead
John Barnes, Jamie Carragher and Jurgen Klopp

After Pep Guardiola blew the whistle on a pro-Liverpool agenda, every Premier League must be ranked by how biased the media is against them.


=1) Arsenal
As if the refereeing conspiracy was not enough to contend with, Arsenal have long suffered from an established media bias. Arsene Wenger once said that he often watched Match of the Day “to see how we have been perceived” before joking that “sometimes I think it would be better to watch it with the sound turned down!”. Apropos of nothing, those comments were made in 2015, the same year Jermaine Jenas and Danny Murphy formed part of the show’s permanent cast of pundits. Arsenal are still routinely called soft through print and broadcast forums and the search for Patrick Vieira’s successor goes on. Their stereotypes have stuck for well over a decade despite them now being well outdated. The Unai Emery stuff, jokes aside, was weird and it is difficult to shake the idea that managing Arsenal was a contributing factor; Geoff Shreeves wouldn’t have had the temerity or care to publicly take the p*ss if he was coaching Brighton. Martin Tyler also hates Arsenal.


=1) Aston Villa
The media should have received a cut of Jack Grealish’s transfer to Manchester City, so influential were they in pushing it through. Martin Tyler’s fault. They often get the ‘famous old club’ or ‘sleeping giant’ treatment, while supporters are ‘long-suffering’ and deserve better. But all this is transparent, condescending lip service and Jozef Venglos could have built a dynasty if he wasn’t systematically undermined.


=1) Brentford
This one is a little tougher as the MSM has only just had to start even acknowledging Brentford, although that in itself sums up the inherent bias that will soon undermine their rise. Thomas Frank is not spoken about enough as a Manager of the Season contender, which can be put down to bias. The Bees’ recent turnaround in results and performances has been attributed entirely to Christian Eriksen’s signing and not the return from injury of David Raya and Ivan Toney, which underlines a lack of research and ultimately betrays yet more bias, epitomised by Martin Tyler’s dislike of Brentford.


=1) Brighton
The media is in the pocket of Big xG and Brighton are the Premier League vehicle they have commandeered to push it. Didn’t hear much about xG as an accepted metric until around… oh, let’s say, 2017, right? Real coincidence that that’s when the Seagulls were promoted. How convenient. Open your eyes, sheeple. Plus they were one of the most recent top-flight clubs who were warned to be careful what they wished for. If it was down to Martin Tyler then Chris Hughton would still be in charge at the AmEx, Glenn Murray would be leading the line and Marc Cucurella would never have graced our conscious lives.


=1) Burnley
Very much the millennial Stoke in terms of litmus test clubs to face in blustery midweek conditions. That implies a level of respect but also an underlying disdain. Burnley have upset too many apple carts in their time and even with Sean Dyche gone, they have a reputation that will require some shifting. Especially if Martin Tyler has anything to do with it.


=1) Chelsea
The establishment was threatened by Chelsea almost two decades ago and only recently jumped at the chance to try and push the Blues when they were properly on the brink. Jose Mourinho unearthed a “clear campaign” against the club during his second spell as manager, which extended to “people, pundits, commentators, coaches from other teams” who “react with Chelsea in a way they don’t react to other teams”. While no specific names were used, everyone knew he was referring to a certain agitator – for privacy’s sake let’s call him Martin T. No, that’s too obvious. Let’s say M. Tyler. By the end of that season, the mentality successfully sieged, the title secured and FA fines long since handed out, Mourinho conceded: “Maybe I would take that word [campaign] out from my explanation and my comments, but that’s the reality. We had very bad decisions over a big period of time. But I also made bad decisions, so no problem.”


=1) Crystal Palace
While Crystal Palace are obviously the joint-biggest victims of media bias in the top flight, it is difficult to make an actual case for them suffering such prejudice. Everyone knows their players are great fun and Patrick Vieira hits that managerial sweet spot of basically being a cheat foreign as a Frenchman who Knows The Premier League and understands the pace of the English game. But Murdoch and his lot did feed those incessant discussions as to what Wilfried Zaha was worth and for that they should never be forgiven. Martin bloody Tyler.


=1) Everton
The awkward, unwanted and ignored sibling to an overbearing brother. Everton know they are convenient and useful up to a point but it is never long until Liverpool are favoured by Martin Tyler and the Bluenoses are put out of joint. An Everton fan once wrote into the Liverpool Echo to say ‘the bias towards Liverpool FC is extraordinary’ and ‘Everton FC get hardly any recognition from the national media. To suffer the same indignity in our own city is unforgivable.’ This prejudice is deep-rooted.


=1) Leeds
Those pats on the head for being entertaining and a perennial breath of fresh air in their first campaign back as a Premier League club soon became taps on the shoulder and questions about late-season fatigue. Marcelo Bielsa was also scoffed at and dismissed by many in the media and there is literally no greater insult that could ever be made towards a Leeds fan. Martin Tyler should know better.


=1) Leicester
It’s a wonder that outlets carried on plugging away after 2016. Only through gritted teeth was Leicester’s Premier League triumph commemorated. Although Martin Tyler did legitimately once compare the King Power Stadium atmosphere to that at a Boca Juniors game.


=1) Liverpool
Now this is pretty much peak anti-Martin Tyler territory. Liverpool fans will never forgive or forget his reaction to Anthony Martial’s goal in 2015. This very website’s anti-Liverpool agenda was embarrassingly uncovered a few years ago. Mo Salah is regularly accused of diving when he is far from the worst perpetrator of the game’s most grievous crime. BT Sport probably didn’t show You’ll Never Walk Alone in its entirety on a famous European night at Anfield once.


=1) Manchester City
The transformation from Pep Guardiola to Pen Fraudiola to world’s baldest man and now King of the Berts has made for a fascinating story arc. Their transfers are reported weirdly, the Manchester City Quadruple pursuit was lamented while Liverpool’s was celebrated, and Micah Richards alone cannot combat the proliferation of former Liverpool played turned pundits. Martin Tyler never reacts to their goals properly.


=1) Manchester United
Do ABUs still exist? Is that still a thing? It doesn’t feel like it’s a thing anymore and that is a shame. That was a staple of mid-2000s football message boards. Martin Tyler was probably an ABU with a display picture of that smouldering Mick McCarthy stare. Anyway, the first lesson in media training is that criticising Manchester United is the only sure-fire way of guaranteeing sales, clicks or engagement. Every broadcaster, newspaper, website and podcast meets in pre-season to agree upon a comprehensive list of takedowns that can be cycled through during the season. It is just sensible business practice. Martin Tyler leads those assemblies.


=1) Newcastle
Easy. Human rights were an alien concept in England until October 7 of last year. They just didn’t exist. Amnesty International were sat around twiddling their thumbs, waiting patiently for an innocent football club to target. Martin Tyler, Tariq Panja, Miguel Delaney and friends famously said nothing about Saudi money before Newcastle became entwined with it. The Magpies represent a potential threat to the established order and that is Not A Good Thing. The media simultaneously hates the Big Six and basks in their failures while loving the Big Six and celebrating their dominance. Bet all those antagonistic journalists will be reporting on the World Cup, eh? Eh?! Hypocrites.


=1) Norwich
Martin Tyler graduated from the University of East Anglia in the 1960s. Probably had posters of Ray Crawford and Alf Ramsey on his bedroom wall.


=1) Southampton
The London-centric media never bothers to divert its gaze far enough south to St Mary’s. They only talk about Southampton when they want to engineer moves for their players or manager, or to marvel at a team’s propensity for losing 9-0.


=1) Tottenham
Only the most bias nonce still unimaginatively analyses any defeat or setback for the north London club by simply saying ‘Tottenhamy’ or ‘Gentlemen, it’s Spurs’. Martin Tyler once successfully helped conceal the crowning moment of Erik Lamela’s career. The media was a willing pawn in Charlie Kane’s masterful attempts to extricate his brother from Hotspur Way. They also keep saying mean things about Mauricio Pochettino. Spurs could actually lose in the most unique way imaginable and it would still be described as ‘typical’ by some.


=1) Watford
Have literally never been first in the Match of the Day running order [subs, please check]. There was that time a few years ago when Watford supporters admirably mobilised to shoot down any criticism of the Pozzo policy of hiring and firing managers in quick succession. It might seem like those detractors have a point now actually. Still proof of an anti-Watford agenda, though. Probably peddled by Woking-born Martin Tyler, who grew up a mere 25-mile stroll from Vicarage Road and thus would have developed his Hornets hatred at a young age.


=1) West Ham
There are more West Ham-supporting journalists than there are fans of most other clubs working in media. That makes the obvious bias against the Hammers quite bizarre. But it is there. Look hard enough and you will see it. Definitely is a thing. Scott Parker being voted FWA Footballer of the Year in 2011 was just a sick joke at West Ham’s expense. Martin Tyler would have probably voted for DJ Campbell or something.


20) Wolves
Of course there isn’t a bloody media bias or anti-Wolves agenda. Grow up.