Why you should pause before you pay that parking fine

Why you should pause before you pay that parking fine

In 2015 the Supreme Court ruled that a fine of £85 against a person who overstayed their time in an off street car park was fair, even if the actual cost of the parking, had the driver paid up front, might have only been £1.

Since then however the private parking companies – those who run car parks for local councils, for bus, underground, tram and other transport companies, and who build their own car parks, have taken the Supreme Court ruling to give them the right to trigger fines of lunatic amounts – often amounting to far more than the £85, against anyone who infringes even a tiny amount of the parking regulations.

However Jiving.info – a website that encourages creativity and an independent lifestyle – decided to take up the challenge when one of us got caught by National Car Parks.

Now it is important to say from the start that NCP may not have fully given up on this case.  We haven’t heard from them for four months, after their solicitors returned the details of the case back to NCP, without taking the action that they had repeatedly threatened, but so bizarre has NCP’s actions been thus far, it is quite possible that they might suddenly start up again.  If they do, we’ll let you know.

The original case that led to the Supreme Court ruling came about because a driver, Mr Beavis, appealed against a parking charge for overstaying at a car park in the Riverside Retail Park in Chelmsford in 2013. He’d left his car for 56 minutes longer than the allotted free two hour wait time and was issued with an £85 parking charge. He believed the charge should be ruled unlawful, including under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (which are now part of the Consumer Rights Act 2015). Parking Eye argued – and the Supreme Court agreed – that the charge was justified to discourage people from overstaying at a site close to the railway station and law courts.  The Consumer Association is asking the government to look at the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations again, but so far this has not happened.

So let’s look at what car parks are now doing.

Of late in many car parks the old barrier and ticket approach has gone and instead a camera takes a picture of the car number plate as it enters, and again as it leaves.   The parking company asks that you declare your car number when you buy a ticket, and the whole process is matched digitally. If you drive out without having bought a ticket and allocated it to your car, or you have overstayed, they automatically fine you.

This means they no longer use wardens to check the cars and their tickets, and everything including the issuing of the fine notice and subsequent notices is done automatically.

But they consistently make mistakes, and this is where you may well have a chance of seeing them off, if you do inadvertently overstay or make some other mistake.

First, the terms and conditions of the car park must be on display in a place where you can read them.  It is no good having them on a huge board as you drive in, because it is clearly impractical to stop the car and hold up other road users while you study 2000 words of rules and regulations.

So by driving into a car park with a barrier and the regulations outside the barrier does not make you beholden to the rules.  It might be possible for a car park to argue that in such a case you should have parked and gone back to read the rules, but this seems unlikely to win, and could only win a case if it is possible to leave the car park without paying, having read the rules.

Clearly that is ok in a non-barrier car park and indeed many systems are set so that if you leave within 15 minutes (the time taken to park, read and leave) you will not be picked up by the system.

The rules and regulations do have to be clear, and they have to say, “do pay for your ticket when you arrive” if that is what they insist.  If they don’t say that, you can obviously pay for the time you have had, when you leave – so if doing that, make a note of the time you arrive.

The terms and conditions have to be reasonable and easy to understand for everyone.  If they are not, they won’t stand up in court. They also have to be clean and easy to read at night, if you are parking at night.

Infringements within barrier operated private car parks

In one case we were involved in, an off duty nurse took a disabled patient to a hospital, entered through the barrier and then found there were no disabled bays available as a delivery truck was parked across two of them.  The nurse parked as best she could and took the patient into the hospital. She returned to find she had a ticket for parking partially in a special needs bay.

She wrote to the company and to the hospital pointing out that by the time she found there was no bay in which she could park she had entered the car park, and thus it was the car park operator that was at fault since it was offering a service (parking, including disabled bays) and the service was not available she did not have to pay.

The hospital said the letter had gone to their appeals committee but had been turned down.  The driver wrote back and asked for details of the hearing, who was there, and why she was not invited.  The hospital refrained from replying.

The parking company wrote four times demanding money, but the driver repeatedly threatened publicity for the case, and the parking company then gave up.

The ticket machine is poorly placed or the numbers are not clear

In some locations you may be asked to enter your car number into a machine when buying a ticket, having parked  the car. Many of these machines have very small numbers and letters which are set very low down so it is difficult to read them.   Some become very worn so the numbers and letters are impossible to read.

We have seen cases where parking companies are sending out £85 fines to people who entered one digit wrong on a machine where the numbers and letters are set very low.  This most certainly should be appealed because it is the duty of the car parking company to make the system usable by all road users. They put the numbers low for those in wheelchairs – which is of course very reasonable.  But people who stand say six feet tall also have to be able to use the machine.

If the numbers have been rubbed out by over use, or if it is too dark to see the numbers clearly, then it is not your fault.  Likewise if you have a bad back and can’t bend down, but are able to get in and out of a car, the parking company has no case.

In all these cases do take a picture on your mobile phone if you can.

You paid, but they say you didn’t

This was the case Jiving fought.  In this case a regular user of NCP car parks used a mobile phone to pay.  The system recognised his phone number, repeated the car number and the credit card number, and then confirmed the bill had been paid for the amount of time required.

The driver needed to press “1” each time to say that the information confirmed by the system was true, which he did.  The system did not ask the expiry date of the card.

Having parked and paid, the driver then received a call from NCP saying “your card did not go through – have you been issued with a new card with a new expiry date?”  This was indeed the case, and information was given, ending with the driver asking, “Is that all paid?” and the employee confirming it was.

Two weeks later the driver received a demand for £85 for parking without payment.  He wrote back and said he had paid, and reminded NCP of the phone conversation. They denied this, and said that the driver had not given the new information and had cut the call.

The driver then appealed through the supposedly independent appeals procedure and his appeal was rejected on the grounds that the driver had opted to have a confirmatory text message to say he had paid, and this had not been sent.  The driver rejected this notion on the grounds that the human voice saying he had paid overrode the need for an automatic message.

NCP continued to write and demand payment.  The driver wrote back and said he was not paying and wanted NCP to take him to the county court where he was sure he would win, and would then be able to quote the court case in subsequent publicity.

NCP then threatened to send bailiffs around, and the driver wrote to say this was harassment given that he had said he was not paying.   Despite this a firm of bailiffs wrote to the driver demanding the money pointing out that it would be hard to gain any credit once the driver had a county court judgement against him.  By this time the “bill” had escalated to around £200 since it was now adding in the bailiffs fees.

The driver replied to each letter, and then the solicitors of NCP, wrote to the driver.  They now escalated the costs further, and clearly had not seen any of the details of the case.

They also phoned the driver five times, but on four occasions an automatic system took over asking the driver to press various numbers depending on his situation.   The calls then ended either with the line going dead or else the driver being told there was no one available. Eventually the driver did speak to one representative of the solicitors, explained that he was not paying, and suggesting that they read the case notes.

After a further letter from the solicitors, the driver sent copies of all the documentation and a letter explaining why he was not paying.

The driver also said that as the case was clearly going to court he wanted, in advance of the hearing to have a copy of the recording of the conversation between himself and the NCP representative, and of the CCTV footage which would show him on the phone – thus proving that he did not cut the call at the start.

The solicitor replied that the driver would have to pay to obtain this evidence – something which is of course against all county court rules.  NCP did not have to provide such evidence, but since without it, they have no way of backing up their claim, it was obvious that the court would want to see such evidence.  Defendants do not have to pay for the evidence presented by the person taking them to court.

The solicitors then replied that they had returned the case to their client as they had no further instructions from the client.  And there it stopped.

The whole case shows quite clearly that no humans are involved in most of these processes, as well as showing that the supposedly independent appeal system is capable (at least in this case) of reaching a farcical conclusion.  Also it appeared that the solicitors were letting the cases be handled by unqualified clerks, although we can’t prove that.

The parking ticket flipped over

We have seen a number of cases of car parks still using the old machine and ticket system requiring the ticket to be displayed on the dash board.   In several cases we have seen cases of the ticket being bought but flips off the dash board as the car door is closed. The car park company asserts that displaying the ticket is part of the requirement of the contract and thus a fine must be paid.

So far, each case we have seen challenged has been accepted by the car park.  The regulations do suggest we should all check the ticket remains in place after the door is shut, but if one can produce the ticket to show it was bought then the car park accepts that.

If it doesn’t the argument is that the car park is amiss at not providing tickets with a sticky section so they can be stuck to the windscreen if the driver wishes, and that the display failure is clearly an unintentional error.  It would be a brave and stupid car park company that tried to take that to court – although as the examples above show, there are some very stupid, or very greedy car park companies around.

The terms and conditions

Companies can change the details of their terms and conditions but if they do they have to tell users that this has happened – it is unreasonable to expect car park users to read a mass of regulations each time they drive in.  Also there needs to be clarity in the regulations – they need to be understandable and readable by the users – which includes people from all walks of life.

What can be done if you get a fine?

First, if  the terms and conditions of parking in the car park are clearly displayed and can be read either outside the car park or inside with the option to leave then the rules of the Supreme Court that overstaying can result in an £85 charge have to be complied with.  If you don’t like these rules, don’t park there.

If not, fight.  Answer each letter clearly and unemotionally.  If you want to take it all the way through, tell them that from the start.  Then their action of putting the matter with bailiffs and solicitors can be shown to be harassment.   They have no reason to call on you or phone you, or send you more than one letter, as long as you have replied.

Keep all correspondence, answer promptly, tell them you will go for maximum publicity at the outcome, and if you are going away for a while, tell them that so they can’t claim they wrote and you did not reply.


How to lose weight, get fitter, no cost, guaranteed.

Untold Social is a series of articles on topics that have arisen during discussions between those of us who run the site.  They have nothing to particularly do with football, but are issues we have talked about, debated, and come up with some ideas about.

There is nothing being sold, nothing being promoted, no links to advertisers (unless one comes along and offers us some money, which is always helpful to keep the site going.

This article: How to lose weight, get fitter, no cost, guaranteed.

The total, absolute and utterly guaranteed way to lose weight.  Better still it won’t cost you a penny in books, special diet, or clubs to join

There is one absolutely guaranteed way to lose weight, and it arises from a new understanding psychologists and nutritional scientists have developed as to why so many people fail to lose weight despite their best intentions.

It is very simple, you can start it at once, you’ll see results in a week, and major changes in a month.

The understanding behind this approach comes from the recognition that most people who eat or drink at a level that causes them to put on weight, and who also don’t exercise enough to remove that weight, do so because of habit.

Now we all have lots of habits – habits in the way we talk, walk, sit, scratch our ear,…. and in a thousand other aspects of our behaviour.

Scientists have recognised that while habits are very easy to form, they are actually much harder to stop.  We might say, “I am going to have smaller portions,” and keep up that resolution for a week, but then the habit of having larger portions slips back.

We then feel bad about ourselves, and feel we can’t reduce our food intake, and so our self esteem battered, we slip permanently back into our old ways.

The habit system within the brain is installed for a very good reason to allow us to put lots of our daily lives under subconscious control, so that the brain can be on the look out for the different or the unusual.   Habits take over our everyday actions: walking, driving, talking and so on.

The problem is that certain things can get established as habits which we dont want.   People who bite their nails do it out of habit the habit has been established and is no longer under conscious control – but there is no value in it.  

People who say the phrase I mean in every other sentence do so out of habit.  Weve all got habits, and they can be very hard to shake off.

Not impossible, but hard.

This is the problem: habits are very easy to establish, and very hard to remove.   There is a survival benefit in this because it allows us to learn quickly and act without thinking in emergencies, but is also very annoying if there is a habit we wish to remove.

So eating more than we actually need is a habit, and your task if you want to reduce weight is to stop the habit of eating as much as you do.

Now because habits are hard to eradicate, there is every chance that when you start trying to reduce the amount of food you eat, you will fail, and eat more than you really should.   That does not mean you are a failure. It just means that you are falling under the pressure of your habits.

But habits can be overcome.  Dont feel guilty, dont feel like a failure.  Just recognise that this is normal and start again.

So this new approach to reducing weight still involves the two obvious things: consume less food and fattening drinks that you do now (sugary drinks, alcohol, sweets, ready meals, crisps etc).  And exercise more.

The best way to handle this is to have something clearly identifiable to reduce, such as no puddings, or maybe no alcohol two days a week etc.  Or cut down sugar from two teaspoons in coffee to one. Or don’t buy any more packets of crisps.

Absolutely don’t try everything at once, just choose one thing to cut down on, and when you’ve sorted that, add another.

At the same time, up the level of physical activity you undertake.  If you are taking no physical activity other than what you have to do, start by walking 200 yards on day one, then 250 yards on day two, 300 yards on day three and so on.   Don’t sign up to a gym or buy a load of running gear or a new bike. Start with walking, and then move up to something else like swimming once a week or whatever you want to do.

You could do this by choosing to park at the far side of the car park at work, so you have further to walk to the office.  Or it could be walking round the garden once each evening.

Then, when you find yourself slipping back by eating or drinking too much, or by not taking your exercise, DON’T GIVE UP.

Just remind yourself that habits are hard to break, but you can do it over time.  Pick up from where you were and carry on.

That final bit is the key.  Most people stop the moment they slip back into the old ways.  They typically say, “I tried but I just couldn’t do it.” What they actually should be saying is “breaking habits is hard – you need to try it a number of times to get it sorted.”   

In fact some people make a mantra out of it which they say to themselves each day.  A mantra that says, “habits are hard to break, but I am trying” and you pick up again from where you got to.

Maybe you’ll have four days success before you slip.  Next time aim for five days success. Then six days…

It works.  Just try it.

So let’s go through this.   The four parts of the programme are

  • Understand the nature of habits.
  • Eating a little less each day
  • Eating a little better each day
  • Increasing exercise very slightly each day

Here’s a couple of final thoughts.   First do you tell other people or not?  Some people like to, some people don’t, but here’s one possible issue to consider.  If you are slightly over weight then the chances are that you have friends who are also slightly overweight.  So if you tell them about your new approach they might feel guilty that they are not doing it. As a result they might tell you this approach doesn’t work.

This is of course very much a matter for you, but if you want to reduce weight and feel that your friends might not be helpful (and also that you don’t want the embarrassment of admitting you have slipped back), find ways to avoid telling them.

For example, if you give up crisps, just say, “I don’t know what it is but I just don’t like the taste any more”.  If you don’t want people to see you taking an extra walk in the morning or evening, don’t announce it. If seen just say, “I’ve been getting a real back pain and the doctor said I should just take a short walk each morning to try and ease it after keeping it still all night in bed.”

Sometimes not telling anyone what you are up to, can be the easiest way to cope with the moment the old habits return.

Second, should you try this with a friend?  It is of course up to you, but if you plan for (say) a short walk each night is dependent on a friend, then if your friend gives up, that puts your plan in jeopardy too.   If you do work with a friend, it can be good to have a fall back plan if your friend proves to have less resolve than you.

How to get every job interview that you really want

How to get every job interview that you really want

This article is provided without charge by Untold Social and is © Websites & Blogs Ltd.  If you would like permission to reproduce this article or you would like to contribute to this series, please see our note at the end of the article.  

What is the first thing than an employer or personnel director sees when he/she gets a range of applications for a job?

It isn’t your cv, listing your qualifications etc etc, it is your covering letter (if you send your application by post) or your email, to which the cv is attached.

99.9% of cvs look the same, and go something like this

Dear Sir,

I’d like to apply for the position of [insert name of job] at [insert name of company].

I have worked for many years in [insert type of industry] and feel I would be ideal to work with your firm.  I am hard working and a good team player, and look forward to meeting you at an interview.

Yours faithfully

Ann Applicant.


Since many firms report that for each job they advertise they get 50 to 100 applications, you can imagine that if all the covering letters look pretty much the same, the whole approach to finding the right person for the job gets fairly dull if not boring.

But supposing that one covering letter isn’t like this at all.  Supposing it is different, lively, interesting, and stimulating.  Then what?

At the very least you can be sure that the writer of this letter will get an interview at the very least.  What’s more when the interview comes along everyone conducting the interview will sit up and take notice, because this will be the person that they want to see.   

For everyone will want to know, what does the person who write such a different letter of application look like.  They might not have decided to employ this person yet but they sure as hell want to see this person.

This whole approach was actually tried out by a friend of mine – a friend who had very modest qualifications and had sent in over 50 job applications without getting anywhere at all.   So she was desperate and ready to try anything.

She knew that I ran an advertising agency and so the notion arose that if I could write adverts for all sorts of strange products and services, why not an advert for a person?

Now, in writing adverts for products and services there are three overriding rules which are

  1. Grab Attention
  2. Be different from every other advert
  3. Don’t talk about the product, talk about the customer’s wishes and needs.

When I thought about this for a job application I decided to that only a couple of small tweaks were needed so the list would read….

  1. Grab Attention
  2. Be different from every other applicant
  3. Don’t talk about yourself, talk about the employer’s wishes and needs.

So that’s what I did.

And then having written the letter I became worried.  I wasn’t worried that it wouldn’t work – since I’ve written thousands of adverts through my career I know that people react in fairly standard ways no matter what the situation, and besides my friend was being turned down all the time anyway.

No my concern was that my letter was so different from anything I had ever seen written as a job application, that she might not use it.   So when I handed the letter over I told her that if she felt it was too radical, too different, and that her reaction was, “I CAN’T SEND THEM THAT!!!” I would understand, and it wouldn’t make any difference.

However she was more daring than I thought, or perhaps more desperate for a job than I thought, and so she did.   And she got the job.

That job in fact turned out to have some serious disadvantages so after a couple of months my friend wanted to change again.   I said I was sorry, but perhaps she would use the same letter again. “I certainly will,” she said. “If it weren’t for the letter, I’d not even bother trying – I’d just stay in this same job and be miserable.”

So she did it again, and got the next job too.   In fact she has used the letter three times in the last three years, and got each job.

OK, now you want to know what the letter looks like.  Here it is.

Dear Sirs,

For the next person you appoint you’ll be wanting someone who has learned never to bow to pressure and never to make a mistake.

There are two things in life that waste time: mistakes, and letting the pressure get to you.  If these events can be avoided everything gets done twice as fast.

And there’s a bonus, because if you have a member of staff who feels the pressure then there is every chance that she or he will start influencing everyone around.

Soon, instead of one person looking fevered, scowling, complaining or slamming the phone down, everyone is starting to feel edgy.

When I worked for the RAF as an administrator in the supply chain, processing requests for replacement parts and new equipment, I knew that people’s lives could depend on every single action I took.  One mistake by me in ordering up the wrong part, losing a piece of paper, deleting a file that needed to be forwarded, or omitting to forward a copy of the requisition to the right demand, could cost lives.

So I never made mistakes, and I never let the pressure get to me.

It’s a habit that has stayed with me all my life, and if you choose to employ me, it’s a habit I’ll bring to working for you.


OK, you might be saying, this could work, I can see that, although I’m a bit unsure about writing a bold headline like that.  But either way, it’s hardly relevant since I’ve never done such a job, so I can’t write that.

But my point is that every job has something in it which you can extract as essential.    Let me give a couple of examples.

Supposing you have worked as an assistant in a petrol station, taking money for fuel, selling snacks, and all the other stuff garages sell.

Ask yourself, what’s the difference between a good employee in such a situation, and an average employee?   The answer is the good employee is not only efficient, but also a person who adds that little bit extra so that customers are likely to return.

Thus we get a letter that reads



Dear Sirs,

What is the one thing that a petrol station assistant can do to increase the profits of the company he works for?

There are two things that people like when they come to pay for their petrol:  getting in and out of the shop quickly, and dealing with someone who is pleasant.  

And there’s a bonus, because if you have a member of staff who is both efficient and pleasant, not only is each customer more likely to return next time around, but also more orders can be processed per hour, leaving cars at the pumps for less time.  

Soon, everyone knows that at this petrol station the service is quick and pleasant, while at the next station along the road, the staff chat to each other rather than customers, and make people wait while sorting out some other issue.

When I worked for Ridgway Motors in Shropshire, the management didn’t particularly measure how long it took to serve each customer – but I decided to do that, for out of interest.  I got the time down to two minutes.

Six months after I left, as my family was moving south, I returned to the garage when re-visiting friends in the area.  It took me four minutes to be served in the shop.

My point is that everything can be improved, just by simply trying to do one’s job a little better.


This sort of letter, with variations of course, can be used whether you are applying for a job as a teacher, a receptionist in a GP practice, as an accountant, or an administrator in a local authority office.

You write a headline that grabs attention, and talk about the job and what makes it work more smoothly.  Only then do you talk a little about you.

Behind that you attach your cv.  But by then the cv is irrelevant.  They can’t wait to interview you.


Untold Social provides practical articles on the everyday things we can all do, to make our own lives better.   If you would like to contribute an article to the series, or if you would like to suggest a topic we might tackle in the future please do write to Tony@schools.co.uk


© Websites & Blogs Ltd:- please do tell your friends about Untold Social and refer them to this page, but please do not copy or forward or republish without permission.  



Watford v Chelsea: match predictions

Watford have been having a poor run, but have suddenly come out of it in the last couple of results…

Date Game Res Score Competition
03 Nov 2018 Newcastle United v Watford L 1-0 Premier League
10 Nov 2018 Southampton v Watford D 1-1 Premier League
24 Nov 2018 Watford v Liverpool L 0-3 Premier League
01 Dec 2018 Leicester City v Watford L 2-0 Premier League
04 Dec 2018 Watford v Manchester City L 1-2 Premier League
10 Dec 2018 Everton v Watford D 2-2 Premier League
15 Dec 2018 Watford v Cardiff City W 3-2 Premier League
22 Dec 2018 West Ham United v Watford W 0-2 Premier League

Now of course neither Cardiff nor West Ham are top six teams, but even so it required a pick up in form by Watford to get those two victories, scoring five goals.   Indeed add in the Everton game and we have seven goals scored by Watford in the last three Premier League games.

And in fact when we look at Watford’s home form they are in the top half of the table

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 10 9 0 1 35 9 26 27
2 Arsenal 10 7 2 1 20 9 11 23
3 Liverpool 8 7 1 0 18 2 16 22
4 Chelsea 10 6 3 1 19 8 11 21
5 Everton 10 5 3 2 18 15 3 18
6 AFC Bournemouth 10 5 2 3 16 14 2 17
7 Tottenham Hotspur 7 5 0 2 12 6 6 15
8 Manchester United 8 4 3 1 14 11 3 15
9 Watford 9 5 0 4 14 15 -1 15

In fact Watford have the same number of home points as Tottenham and Manchester United, although to be fair they have played more games at home.  The only thing missing is the solid home defence.  15 conceded at home is problematic.

Chelsea away from home are interesting…

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 11 9 0 2 25 12 13 27
2 Liverpool 10 8 2 0 21 5 16 26
3 Manchester City 8 5 2 1 15 4 11 17
4 Chelsea 8 5 1 2 16 7 9 16
5 Arsenal 8 4 2 2 20 15 5 14
6 Manchester United 10 4 2 4 20 19 1 14
7 Leicester City 10 4 2 4 12 13 -1 14
8 Watford 9 3 3 3 11 10 1 12

Five wins one draw and two defeats is pretty much par for a top six club away from home, and 16 goals against 9 shows they probably go into this game fairly confident of a win by 2-1.

Chelsea’s recent results however are also interesting…

Date Game Res Score Competition
05 Dec 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea L 2-1 Premier League
08 Dec 2018 Chelsea v Manchester City W 2-0 Premier League
13 Dec 2018 Videoton v Chelsea D 2-2 Europa League
16 Dec 2018 Brighton and Hove Albion v Chelsea W 1-2 Premier League
19 Dec 2018 Chelsea v AFC Bournemouth W 1-0 League Cup
22 Dec 2018 Chelsea v Leicester City L 0-1 Premier League

We don’t need to worry too much about the Europa League game but two defeats in four Premier League games, with the team losing away to Wolverhampton and at home to Leicester suggest there is something not completely right.

When we come to the full league table, Chelsea’s expectation of a top four place and thus a return to the Champions League looks very possible – but not guaranteed.   They are unlikely, as things stand, to be caught by Manchester United (it would need a bad run by Chelsea to allow Man U to catch up) but there must also be a concern that Arsenal could overtake them

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 18 15 3 0 39 7 32 48
2 Manchester City 18 14 2 2 50 13 37 44
3 Tottenham Hotspur 18 14 0 4 37 18 19 42
4 Chelsea 18 11 4 3 35 15 20 37
5 Arsenal 18 11 4 3 40 24 16 37
6 Manchester United 18 8 5 5 34 30 4 29
7 Watford 18 8 3 7 25 25 0 27

Chelsea’s victory over the 7th placed team is still likely, but it can’t be taken utterly for granted and there is an outside chance of a draw.  But a Watford victory would be a shock.

Burnley v Everton match predictions

For Burnley’s manager to blame his side’s defeat to Arsenal on the fact that referees favour the bigger clubs and won’t give his team penalties may have convinced some of the journalists that his team were hard done by, but doesn’t really explain the recent run of results…

Date Game Res Score Competition
20 Oct 2018 Manchester City v Burnley L 5-0 Premier League
28 Oct 2018 Burnley v Chelsea L 0-4 Premier League
03 Nov 2018 West Ham United v Burnley L 4-2 Premier League
10 Nov 2018 Leicester City v Burnley D 0-0 Premier League
26 Nov 2018 Burnley v Newcastle United L 1-2 Premier League
01 Dec 2018 Crystal Palace v Burnley L 2-0 Premier League
05 Dec 2018 Burnley v Liverpool L 1-3 Premier League
08 Dec 2018 Burnley v Brighton and Hove Albion W 1-0 Premier League
15 Dec 2018 Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley L 1-0 Premier League
22 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Burnley L 3-1 Premier League

Eight defeats one draw and one victory might be excused by having fixtures against Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal, in the last four, and Man City and Chelsea at the start of the run, but still the club has also been losing to Newcastle, Palace and Brighton.

Everton’s run across the same period shows the same gulf between the top clubs and those lower down the league…

Date Game Res Score Competition
03 Nov 2018 Everton v Brighton and Hove Albion W 3-1 Premier League
11 Nov 2018 Chelsea v Everton D 0-0 Premier League
24 Nov 2018 Everton v Cardiff City W 1-0 Premier League
02 Dec 2018 Liverpool v Everton L 1-0 Premier League
05 Dec 2018 Everton v Newcastle United D 1-1 Premier League
10 Dec 2018 Everton v Watford D 2-2 Premier League
15 Dec 2018 Manchester City v Everton L 3-1 Premier League
23 Dec 2018 Everton v Tottenham Hotspur L 2-6 Premier League

And here we notice that although they are losing to the clubs at the top of the table, they are only managing to draw with Newcastle and Watford.  The two wins have come against Brighton and Cardiff.

Burnley’s league results at home have not been reassuring

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
16 Crystal Palace 8 2 2 4 5 8 -3 8
17 Fulham 8 2 2 4 10 18 -8 8
18 Burnley 8 2 1 5 9 15 -6 7
19 Newcastle United 10 2 1 7 7 15 -8 7
20 Huddersfield Town 10 1 2 7 4 14 -10 5

Two wins, one draw and five defeats with just nine goals scored in eight games, is not the home form of a team surviving in the top tier.

But they might take some hope from the fact that Everton away have an equally miserable position

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
15 Southampton 10 2 1 7 10 21 -11 7
16 Everton 8 1 3 4 8 13 -5 6
17 Huddersfield Town 8 1 2 5 7 17 -10 5
18 Burnley 10 1 2 7 7 21 -14 5
19 Fulham 10 0 2 8 6 24 -18 2
20 Cardiff City 8 0 1 7 5 18 -13 1

Eight away games for Everton have given one win, three draws and four defeats, with eight scored and 13 conceded.

To combine those goals it is 5-9 at home for Burnley and 8-13 away for Everton.

Pulling it all together a draw looks the likely outcome and the chances of a goal fest are low.  Maybe the classic 1-1 is the most likely result.

The two clubs have met just eight times in the Premier League before this match, and it is four wins each so far, with not a PL draw between them.  That again suggests it might be time for one.   Burnley have actually had the better of things in the last four games, winning three and losing one, but when the main thrust of a manager’s post match commentary is the referee, that suggests to me, he’s running out of excuses.  It might be true, but it is not the best thing to say.  What motivation does that give to the players, apart from saying, you’ve got no chance, the referee is against you?

Brighton v Arsenal match predictions

Brighton have been erratic in the league and that is their defining characteristic this season.

From 25 August to 29 September they played six games – five in the league and once in the league cup (against Southampton).   They lost four and drew two.

Then starting on 5 October they won three in a row, two at home and one away.   Unlike the earlier games which had 22 goals in six games (3.7 goals a game), these three winning games contained just three goals (1.0 goals per game, obviously).

Next came two defeats away from home in the League, followed by a draw and two wins, and most recently three defeats.

These last three defeats on 8th, 16th and 22nd of December are interesting.  All three are in the Premier League:

Date Game Res Score
08 Dec Burnley v Brighton and Hove L 1-0
16 Dec Brighton and Hove  v Chelsea L 1-2
22 Dec Bournemouth v Brighton and Hove L 2-0

One goal to Brighton in three games (against Chelsea) and defeats to Burnley (!!!) and Bournemouth.  Maybe they don’t like teams that begin with B.

Of course Arsenal’s most recent adventures do not make particularly wonderful reading

Date Game Res Score Competition
16 Dec 2018 Southampton v Arsenal L 3-2 Premier League
19 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur L 0-2 League Cup
22 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Burnley W 3-1 Premier League

And Last season Arsenal lost away to Brighton at the end of a very depressing run of four games

22 Feb 2018 Arsenal v Östersunds FK L 1-2 Europa League
25 Feb 2018 Arsenal v Manchester City L 0-3 League Cup
01 Mar 2018 Arsenal v Manchester City L 0-3 Premier League
04 Mar 2018 Brighton and Hove  v Arsenal L 2-1 Premier League

But what of the home and away figures overall in relation to  the two teams…

Brighton are mid-table when it comes to home performances

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Manchester City 10 9 0 1 35 9 26 27
2 Arsenal 10 7 2 1 20 9 11 23
3 Liverpool 8 7 1 0 18 2 16 22
4 Chelsea 10 6 3 1 19 8 11 21
5 Everton 10 5 3 2 18 15 3 18
6 AFC Bournemouth 10 5 2 3 16 14 2 17
7 Tottenham Hotspur 7 5 0 2 12 6 6 15
8 Manchester United 8 4 3 1 14 11 3 15
9 Watford 9 5 0 4 14 15 -1 15
10 Brighton and Hove Albion 8 4 2 2 13 10 3 14

and although not relevant to this game Arsenal are second in this chart, although Liverpool hae two home games in hand and Tottenham, who are seriously trying to avoid playing at Wembley have three.

Away from home Arsenal are much stronger than they were last season, when the away form was their undoing.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 11 9 0 2 25 12 13 27
2 Liverpool 10 8 2 0 21 5 16 26
3 Manchester City 8 5 2 1 15 4 11 17
4 Chelsea 8 5 1 2 16 7 9 16
5 Arsenal 8 4 2 2 20 15 5 14
6 Manchester United 10 4 2 4 20 19 1 14
7 Leicester City 10 4 2 4 12 13 -1 14

Four wins in the first eight away games for Arsenal is equal to their total for the whole of last season.

We can also see that Arsenal have a 20 to 15 goal tally away from home whereas Brighton are on 13 to 10 at home.  This suggests that Arsenal will go up against Brighton – and their division of goals between first and second half is very much stacked in favour of the second half.

What’s more there is Aubameyang – a top scorer now very much in form.  If we look for the top 20 scorers in the division right at the top we have Aubameyang with 20 goals, and the fastest scoring rate at 116 minutes per goal.  He’s knocked in 12 goals and just to round it off has 3 assists.

Brighton’s top may is Glenn Murray with 8 goals and no assists, coming in with a goal every 142 minutes.

Also in the top 20 is Alexandre Lacazette with 6 goals and 4 assists.

This looks to me like an Arsenal win.   Brighton do score at home so might get the one, but Arsenal are averaging 2.5 league goals per game away from home so I suspect it will be 1-2 to Arsenal.


Fulham v Wolverhampton Wanderers: match predictions

In broad terms things could not look much worse for Fulham, being bottom of the table and four points off safety

Pos Tam P W D L F A GD Pts
16 Southampton 18 3 6 9 19 33 -14 15
17 Cardiff City 18 4 2 12 18 38 -20 14
18 Burnley 18 3 3 12 16 36 -20 12
19 Huddersfield Town 18 2 4 12 11 31 -20 10
20 Fulham 18 2 4 12 16 42 -26 10

Although their home form isn’t quite as bad as one might assume…

15 Southampton 8 1 5 2 9 12 -3 8
16 Crystal Palace 8 2 2 4 5 8 -3 8
17 Fulham 8 2 2 4 10 18 -8 8
18 Burnley 8 2 1 5 9 15 -6 7
19 Newcastle United 10 2 1 7 7 15 -8 7
20 Huddersfield Town 10 1 2 7 4 14 -10 5

The fact is they have only lost half of their games at home, drawing two and winning two.  But their goal difference at home is minus eight, due in no small measure to the defeat at the Cottage by Arsenal

But the terrible run of eight successive defeats is now over and although they are not exactly setting football alight since that point, they are now doing a little better…

Date Game Res Score Competition
24 Nov 2018 Fulham v Southampton W 3-2 Premier League
02 Dec 2018 Chelsea v Fulham L 2-0 Premier League
05 Dec 2018 Fulham v Leicester City D 1-1 Premier League
08 Dec 2018 Manchester United v Fulham L 4-1 Premier League
15 Dec 2018 Fulham v West Ham United L 0-2 Premier League
22 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v Fulham D 0-0 Premier League

One win in six is not a cause for celebration, but three games undefeated in six when bottom of the league is at least a straw to grab.

As an away team Woverhampton are mid-table

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 10 8 2 0 21 5 16 26
2 Tottenham Hotspur 10 8 0 2 19 10 9 24
3 Manchester City 8 5 2 1 15 4 11 17
4 Chelsea 8 5 1 2 16 7 9 16
5 Arsenal 8 4 2 2 20 15 5 14
6 Manchester United 10 4 2 4 20 19 1 14
7 Leicester City 10 4 2 4 12 13 -1 14
8 Watford 9 3 3 3 11 10 1 12
9 West Ham United 8 3 2 3 11 11 0 11
10 Wolverhampton Wanderers 8 3 2 3 7 8 -1 11

While Fulham have 2 wins, 2 draws and 4 defeats, Wolverhampton have 3 wins, 2 draw and 3 defeats away.  While Fulham have conceded 18, scoring 10 at home, Wolverhampton have conceded 8 while scoring seven.   That makes it look like Wolverhampton could just edge this.

But Wolverhampton’s form of late is strange…  We can see a poor run of form across six games running up to 30 November with a defeat to struggling Cardiff, but then straight wins against Chelsea, Newcastle and Bournemouth.   The defeat at home to Liverpool was certaintly predictable however.

20 Oct 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Watford L 0-2
27 Oct 2018 Brighton and Hove Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers L 1-0
03 Nov 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur L 2-3
11 Nov 2018 Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers D 1-1
25 Nov 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Huddersfield Town L 0-2
30 Nov 2018 Cardiff City v Wolverhampton Wanderers L 2-1
05 Dec 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea W 2-1
09 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers W 1-2
15 Dec 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v AFC Bournemouth W 2-0
21 Dec 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool L 0-2

If however we take just the away games this is what we see…

27 Oct 2018 Brighton and Hove Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers L 1-0
11 Nov 2018 Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers D 1-1
30 Nov 2018 Cardiff City v Wolverhampton Wanderers L 2-1
09 Dec 2018 Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers W 1-2

One win in four, and that against a Newcastle team that doesn’t seem to know where it is going.

These away defeats to Brighton and Cardiff must give Fulham some hope of them coming away with a draw.

Fulham have not won in the last five so a win might be too much to ask but a 1-1- draw is possible if they can avoid the 1-2 defeat that seems more likely.