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Do the FA and referees hate Leeds? Recent decisions make it seem like something’s afoot

Leeds has not had a penalty in a year and Pontus Jansson was fined for bad words while Brentford’s Sergi Canos goes unpunished for a headbutt

Leeds United v Brentford - Sky Bet Championship Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Many Leeds United fans were left questioning the disciplinary process of the FA after Pontus Jansson was charged with bringing the game into disrepute after swearing on live TV and calling the refereeing in the match against Brentford “robbery.”

This, of course, is on the heels of the FA taking no action on a fairly obvious dive by Brentford’s Ollie Watkins to win a penalty, some questionable yellow card decisions, and, worse of all, an unpunished headbutt by Brentford’s Sergi Canos on the sideline.

The headbutting incident is particularly galling for a couple reasons. First, it was obvious violent conduct that was caught on tape. Additionally, Leeds players dealt with a number of suspensions last season for headbutts, with the red card issued to Eunan O’Kane against Ipswich Town being particularly dodgy, given the circumstances and the obvious dive by the Ipswich player.

On top of all of the questionable refereeing decisions against Leeds in the Brentford game, it was pointed out this week that it has been an over a year since Leeds were awarded a penalty.

Is there a conspiracy afoot?

It’s doubtful, in this day and age, that the referees, the FA, and the EFL would conspire against a single team. You would, however, forgive a Leeds fan for thinking that maybe, just maybe, the football world in England is out to get them.

The 15 point deduction for administration that kept a high-flying Leeds team from being promoted out of League One, despite already having been punished the previous season with a ten point deduction penalty for administration, is usually pointed out as proof of a conspiracy against Leeds, along with the usual fan gripes about the quality of the refereeing.

The length of time to have gone without a penalty, however, does seem a bit odd. Does Leeds still carry the reputation of being “Dirty Leeds” in the 21st century? Or has the team just been unlucky? Hard to tell, but if Leeds go another year without a penalty being given to them, it might be hard to convince Leeds fans that the footballing world isn’t out to get them.