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Four Premier League rule changes to be aware of ahead of the new season

WAGNH's 2015/16 Season Preview

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Unfortunately, none of the rule changes involve robot referees, video-assist, or any more technology in general.  These are all slight tweaks, though as you'll see, they would have had some impact on previous Chelsea seasons, so they might just play a role this season, too.

Unfortunately, I cannot find any actual official wording on most of these new rules, so we'll just have to go based off reports from the FA itself and the BBC.


Apparently there will be a crackdown on all the extra-curriculars that go on in the technical areas, such as confronting other managers, staff, players, or match officials, flipping ties, waving imaginary cards, clapping sarcastically, etc.  Managers and staff will be issued a warning first, unless the incident is deemed serious enough to sent directly to the stands.

This rule isn't anything new, though it appears to have been tightened.  Hope Mourinho has been setting aside a few quid into his piggy bank over the summer to fund his upcoming fines.


This was a hot-button issue last year — evil, evil, Chelsea always surrounding the poor referee while other teams would never commit such atrocities — so the response has been to reduce the number of player "allowed" to confront a referee (did you know this was allowed?) from three to two.

Clearly, just like the first rule, how well this will be enforced remains to be seen.  The punishment will be post-match fines for the club.


Further post-match repercussions should be coming if a player is found to be feigning or exaggerating an injury to get an opponent sent off.

  • Player A is sent off for violent conduct
  • Dismissal overturned after the referee reviews the incident and sees that Player B had feigned injury
  • Player B is open to a charge and could face a three-match ban

A long-overdue rule change and one that in my opinion should be extended well beyond to include post-match suspensions and fines to any player who play-acts or simulates to gain an advantage.  Post-match video review, combined with impactful disciplinary action is the only way we'll ever get all this nonsense under control.


I admit I believed this rule was already how the offside law was interpreted — i.e. if a player interferes with play, he's offside, regardless of he actually gets a touch on the ball.  Here's the official wording on the additional guidance.

A player in an offside position shall be penalised if he:
1. clearly attempts to play a ball which is close to him when this action impacts on an opponent
2. makes an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball

As with the rest of the offside rule, the only things that are clear and obvious is that everything's open to interpretation.  The Premier League helpfully provides a couple guidance videos.  Unfortunately they are not embeddable, so you'll have to click over and watch and read it for yourself.  I highly recommend you do so.  Meanwhile, here's the same rule explained for the Scottish Premier League.

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