Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
At the end of every Premier League season, the division’s rule makers gather to discuss ways to improve various laws of the game and how are structured.
Long-established rules and laws are often rewritten and amended, while new ideas are also floated and rubberstamped in time for the next Premiership season.
To keep you abreast of the latest adjustments, we’ve filtered through the tweaks and rewrites to bring you some of the most important new rule changes being implemented in the 2018/19 Premier League season.
Technical Area Tablets
Something you might have noticed already in the opening exchanges of the new Premier League season, is the appearance and use of iPad and tablet technology in the dugout.
Don’t worry, it’s not so players can live Tweet and record Instagram hand-shake stories during the game – managers and their coaching staff are now allowed to utilise the tech to help them pass tactical instructions to players and to track live data.
The tables and iPads cannot be used to view replays of the action of the pitch however as that would understandably lead to chaotic scenes.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB), the organisation responsible for introducing new laws, actually approved this rule change in March, which allowed national team staff to use small, handheld devices at the World Cup.
Competition Specific Suspensions
From 2018/19, any yellow cards received by players in a particular game will be specific to the competition they were playing in. What that means is, if a player picks up a booking in the FA or Carabao Cup, it wouldn’t count towards a suspension in the Premier League.
But before the players get all “kick happy” and start knocking lumps out of each other with greater impunity, it’s worth noting that red cards retain the same blanket suspension power as before.
In terms cumulative suspensions, it will work like this: Players will be suspended after picking up five yellow cards (with a cut off after the first 19 games), 10 yellow cards (cut off 32 games) and 15 yellow cards by the end of the season.
The Premier League is eager to see a reduction in poor behaviour in the dugouts this season. They are looking for 24% less ranting, 22% less raving, 31% less furious gesticulation and approximately 29% less hurtful name calling.
Of course, the EFL uses a yellow and red card system to punish managers who step out of line during a game, but the Premier League have yet to go down that route. That won’t change this season either.
From 2018/19, four separate warnings from the referee will see the offending manager receive a one-match ban. If that impish rogue goes on to pick up eight warnings through the season he’ll be handed a two-match ban. Twelve warnings will get you a three-match ban and 16 is the tipping point that earns the offender an FA misconduct ban.
Any more than that and the manager must report to the FA for a full disadulation, followed by ejection from the building via cannon.
Increased use of VAR
The Premier League has yet to introduce VAR to the competition, though there will be a ramp up in the systems use in both the FA and Carabao Cup this season.
The controversial system was used in just 19 fixtures in 2017/18, but that number will increase substantially this season with 60 matches targeted for VAR implementation.
The system will ONLY be used at Premier League stadiums however, with venues down the leagues deemed unsuitable.
The Premier League plan to employ the VAR system in the top flight in the near future.
No League Cup Extra-Time
The Carabao Cup is so terrible to watch that extra-time had been fully removed from the competition to help ease the spectators’ pain (this may or may not be the official reasoning behind the rule change).
If a particular League Cup contest is level after 90 minutes, the tie will be settled by an immediate penalty shootout.
In a further twist, the EFL, who organise the League Cup, have also revealed that the shoot-out format will revert to the old-school method where teams take alternating spotkicks, instead of the ABBA format that was trialled last season.
Really, whether the ABAB or ABBA format is used, in the end the winner takes it…….ah never mind.
Anti-Doping Rule Change
Previously, agents from the the FA’s anti-doping testing wing could inform a club of which players they wanted to test at 75 minutes of a particular fixture. From 2018/19 however, they can only inform clubs of the players selected for testing immediately after the match finishes.
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