The Premier League begins again on Friday August 11th when Manchester City take on newly promoted Burnley at Turf Moor, but there are set to be some rule changes that you will need to look out for as the new season kicks off.
The FA have announced a series of tweaks in a bid to make English football more watchable, and to punish wrongdoing more effectively.
Firstly, they intend to track game time more accurately. Last season, in an average Premier League game the ball was in play for less than an hour, meaning that a third of the “game” wasn’t really a game at all.
This was changed at the World Cup in Qatar, where stoppage time often made up for this by adding 8+ minutes on to each half.
The FA are set to bring that to the Premier League this season, with Sky claiming that added time in the top flight is ‘now expected to frequently run into double digits’ in a bid to provide better value for money.
There is also set to be a crackdown on managerial practices. Staff will be handed an automatic yellow card if more than one person is in the technical area at any one time, while managers that leave the technical area will also be subject to harsher punishment.
Sending a member of staff off will also no longer allow them to sit in the stands, instead forced to sit in an area without a view of the pitch.
On the pitch, there will be an emphasis on letting physical challenges go, with a higher threshold set to be in place for contact challenges, though tackles and play deemed careless will still be penalised. It is part of an attempt to let the game flow more freely and reduce stoppages.
However, there could well be more yellow cards brandished anyway, with dissent set to receive a major shakeup. Should more than one player crowd the referee at any one time, the FA claim that at least one of those will be booked, something that was trialled when Mario Lemina was sent off for Wolves in February.