By Dr Billy “the Dog” McGraw, senior psychiatrist at the University College Hospital of the North Circular Road.
“The massive Premier League rule changes which could affect Arsenal, Chelsea & Spurs next season”
That is the mega headline in Football London today – the Daily Mirror website that churns out about 40 Arsenal stories every 24 hours. (There is also the headline “The key Premier League rule change proposed which could affect Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal” which turns up in
But just to make sure they get the maximum readership out of the same story running over and over and over again, the Daily Mirror on their own site run “Premier League faces major rule change as football chiefs look to stop ‘cheating’.”
The first thing to notice is that there is no chance of PL rule changes on their own. While the Premier League has gone its own way when it comes to refereeing and VAR and as a result is the laughing stock of most of Europe, when it comes to the laws of the game, the Premier League is as bound by the International FA Board as anyone else.
The only hope for special treatment the League has is that because of the history of the Board, England, Scotland, Wales and N Ireland each have one vote, and the rest of the world has four votes. A majority is needed to get a rule change through.
And “massive rule changes” as the article says? Well, it is a case of “injury time” (by which I think they mean “added time” – they are pretty behind the times themselves at FootLond) substitutions.
Thus so far we have got the fact that it is not just the three clubs in the headline, and it is not just the Premier League and it is not that massive either.
Also their language suggests that the Premier League is being manipulated by the nasty little foreigners whereas in fact it is the British who hold the aces.
They then tell us that “Research” (from where we do not know) “shows the percentage of changes made in the 90th minute and beyond rising – from 21.3% in 2011/12 to 24.3% since 2017/18 – and now the International FA Board (IFAB) are considering adjusting the rules in a bid to prevent stop time-wasting.”
Is that a threat? Not to me it’s not. Players can still run time down in the corner or by other means. And wouldn’t you know it, the Daily Mirror and its Foot Lond bunch of ruffians, didn’t even find all this out themselves, but got it from the Times.
That newspaper – hardly known for its incisive analyses of footballing whatnot, has said that “some members of IFAB believe that almost every injury time substitute is a time-wasting tactic, with suggestions any player who is substitute has to leave the field via the nearest touchline, rather than the one where the dugout is situated.”
The unnamed official continues, “A rule to say there should be no substitutions during added-on time is an interesting one and could work well. Referees add on 30 seconds for a substitution but in practice it can eat up a lot more time than that. There would, however, need to be trials to see if there are any unforeseen ramifications.
“Would it be fair, for example, if a player suffered a broken leg in injury time and couldn’t be replaced? But you already have the case where they couldn’t be replaced anyway if the three substitutes had already been used.”
So big time and dramatic? No just another bit of crazy hype on the same day they are running “Why the Premier League’s TV deal with Amazon Prime is great news for football supporters” which links on to Amazon Prime.
But the tragedy of it all is that it is yet another story that is used to hide one of the biggest problems we have in the game – the refusal of referees to take action when goalkeepers waste more and more and more time taking goal kicks, trotting from one side of the goal to the other, starting their run up, stopping, waving at no one in particular, running up again, stopping – we have seen it so many times, and nothing is ever done. If time wasting by keepers was made a straight yellow card then we might get somewhere.
Still I suppose that is a bit better than:
“Premier League table ranked by shirt price: Which clubs offer best value?” in the
Anyway we also have “Two further rule changes also being looked into is allowing goal kicks to be passed to players in their own penalty area to allow quicker play, and for referees not pull play back if a ball is not still for a free kick.”
Both of which could be quite good, and are much more important than not having subs in time added on.
Meanwhile there is a lovely misprint – in the misprint of the day – which comes from the Metro, not for the first time, with “Mesut Ozil tells Unai Emery his pest position for Arsenal is in the No.10 role”
Actually I quite like a pest position.
“Ainsley Maitland-Niles not the grim reaper for anyone” from
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