2022/23 PL Season – Matchweek 1 – Refereeing matters

by Andrew Crawshaw

For this coming season there has been a couple of minor changes to the IFAB rules of the game.  The IFAB is the international body that sets out the laws that all players must follow throughout the world.

Law 11:Offside

Though Law 11 has not explicitly changed, the new guidelines make clear an offside player will not automatically become onside upon a defender touching the ball.

“‘Deliberate play’ is when a player has control of the ball with the possibility of passing the ball to a team-mate, gaining possession of the ball, or clearing the ball,” IFAB’s clarified guidelines state.

“If the pass, attempt to gain possession or clearance by the player in control of the ball is inaccurate or unsuccessful, this does not negate the fact that the player ‘deliberately played’ the ball.”

In addition, IFAB provides these indicators as to when a player “deliberately played” the ball:

  • The ball had travelled from distance and the players had a clear view of it
  • The ball was not moving quickly
  • The direction of the ball was not unexpected
  • The player had time to coordinate their body movement
  • A ball moving on the ground is easier to play than a ball in the air”

So that makes the job of deciding whether an attacking player is offside as clear as mud then.  Good luck to the match officials with that one.

Law 14: The Penalty Kick

“When the ball is kicked, the defending goalkeeper must have at least part of one foot touching, or in line with, or behind, the goalline.”

Previously the goalkeeper was required to have part of at least one foot on/above the goalline at the moment when a penalty, or kick from the penalty mark, was taken.

Consequently, if the goalkeeper had one foot in front of the goalline and one behind it, this was technically an offence even though no unfair advantage was gained. The wording of Law 14 has been amended to avoid such a position being penalised

Despite this small change to the wording, the Law still requires a goalkeeper to have at least part of one foot on/above the line until the moment when the kick is taken i.e. the goalkeeper may not stand behind, or in front of, the goal line.”


There is a change in the number of substitutes being allowed with the PL falling into line with recent international practice and allowing for the bench to contain up to nine substitutes of which a maximum of five can be used in the game.  Substitutions can be made on three occasions during open play and at halftime

Refereeing Personnel

At the end of last season it was announced that Mike Dean, Jonathan Moss and Martin Atkinson were retiring from refereeing.

Mike Dean will join Lee Mason as a dedicated VAR referee for this coming season so not really retiring just moving behind a bank of TV screens out of sight.

Jon Moss has been awarded the post of manager of the Select Group 1 Officials and Martin Atkinson has become the referee coach for the group.  Little chance of there being any change in attitudes among the referees then.

Kevin Friend is also no longer listed in the Select Group referees having become manager of the Select Group 2 referees working in the EFL.

There are four new match officials that have been appointed to the Select Group of referees and assistant referees for this season (one referee and three assistant referees):-

  • 32 year old Tom Bramall has been added to the list of Referees.  He is registered with Sheffield and Hallamshire FA and has been refereeing in the EFL since 2014/15.  He starts as Fourth Official in the Newcastle v Forest game.
  • Natalie Aspinall joins Sian Massey-Ellis to double the number of women acting as Assistant Referees.  She has extensive experience both in the EFL and internationally in Women’s games.  If she is as good as Sian then I will be very pleased.  She starts this weekend in the AVAR role in the Spurs v Southampton game.
  • Nick Greenhalgh has over 300 games in the EFL and has earned his promotion.  He starts alongside old hand Eddie Smart at Bournemouth
  • Steve Meredith has a similar length of service as Nick and has also earned his promotion.  He is also alongside an old hand, Harry Leonnard at Leicester.

The Full list of officials accredited for the PL (and by FIFA for international matches) this season is:-

19 Referees – Stuart Attwell (FIFA), Peter Bankes (FIFA), Tom Bramall, John Brooks, David Coote (FIFA), Darren England (FIFA), Jarred Gillett, Tony Harrington, Simon Hooper, Rob Jones, Chris Kavanagh (FIFA), Andy Madley (FIFA), Michael Oliver (FIFA), Craig Pawson (FIFA), Michael Salisbury, Anthony Taylor (FIFA), Paul Tierney (FIFA)

30 Assistant Referees – Natalie Aspinall (FIFA), Simon Bennett (FIFA), Gary Beswick (FIFA), Lee Betts (FIFA), Stuart Burt (FIFA), Dan Cook (FIFA), Neil Davis (FIFA), Derek Eaton, Nick Greenhalgh, Constantine Hatzidakis (FIFA), Adrian Holmes, Nick Hopton, Ian Hussin (FIFA), Peter Kirkup, Scott Ledger, Harry Lennard (FIFA), Simon Long, James Mainwaring, Sian Massey-Ellis (FIFA), Steve Meredith, Adam Nunn (FIFA), Marc Perry, Dan Robathan, Marc Scholes, Eddie Smart, Wade Smith, Richard West, Matthew Wilkes, Tim Wood.

All of the above referees can act in the VAR role plus Mike Dean and Lee mason following their on-field retirements.

All of the Assistant Referees can act in AVAR role.

Who is on duty this coming weekend

Match Referee Assistant Referees 4th Official VAR referee Assistant VAR Referee
Crystal Palace  v Arsenal Anthony Taylor Gary Beswick

Adam Nunn

Peter Bankes Darren England James Mainwaring
Fulham v Liverpool Andy Madley Dan Cook

Derek Eaton

Tony Harrington Stuart Atwell Gary Beswick
Bournemouth v Aston Villa Peter Bankes Eddie Smart

Nick Greenhaulgh

James Linnington Michael Salisbury Constantine Hatzidakis
Leeds v Wolverhampton Robert Jones Lee Betts

Ian Hussin

Michael Oliver Jarred Gillet Neil Davies
Newcastle Utd v  Nottingham Forrest Simon Hooper Adrian Holmes

Marc Scholes

Tom Bramall Lee Mason Simon Bennett
Tottenham v Southampton Andre Marriner Simon Long

Richard West

Tim Robinson Paul Tierney Natalie Aspinall
Everton v Chelsea Craig Pawson Marc Perry

Scott Ledger

Graham Scott John Brookes Darren Cann
Leicester v Brentford Jarred Gillet Harry Lennard

Steve Meredith

David Coote Graham Scott Simon Long
Man United v Brighton Paul Tierney Constantine Hatzidakis

Niel Davies

Michael Salisbury John Brookes Timothy Wood
West Ham v Man City Michael Oliver Stuart Burt

Simon Bennett

Stuart Attwell Mike Dean Eddie Smart

So our old friend Mike Dean hasn’t really retired at all and we can still look forward to enjoying the benefits of his wisdom for the foreseeable future.

2 Replies to “2022/23 PL Season – Matchweek 1 – Refereeing matters”

  1. Anthony Taylor and refereeing Arsenal on the opening day – ring any (alarm) bells?!

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