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FA institute new useless rule about yellow cards without yellow cards for managers

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The FA ensure that despite a short transfer window, there will be plenty of silliness in August and well beyond as well.

Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

The FA has decided to add a fun new feature to the upcoming season, as managers will be able to receive yellow and red cards for dissent or misconduct during games in the Premier League, the Football League, and all the domestic cup competitions. This new development is merely one of several amusing ideas coming out of the FA’s boardroom of late, which includes their renewal of the “sin bin” policy (for dissent) in Tier 7 leagues and below, but with the expectation that it will slowly be implemented in leagues higher up in the pyramid as well.

You never really know!

In theory, the idea of discipling managers just formalizes the process of referees being able to “send off” coaches as well. But, for reasons unclear, in the Premier League, this process will take place without actually showing a yellow card — the referee will simply issue a verbal warning, make note of the infraction, and then include it in his post-match disciplinary report. Yellow cards without yellow cards! How quaint!

As with player cautions, after managers accumulate a certain amount of cards, they will earn themselves bans. Unlike the player cautions, which are now competition-specific (so no more serving of accumulated bans in meaningless League Cup matches), the manager cautions span all competitions. But, in another silly provision, they will be exempt from any suspension if that would fall on the final of a cup competition.

Number of stage 1 warnings: Suspension [to commence with immediate effect]

4: One match
8: Two matches
12:Three matches
16: Misconduct charge (sanction to be determined by a regulatory commission)

What constitutes a “stage 1 warning”, i.e. a yellow card without a yellow card for a manager? The FA have set rather strict and possibly non-enforceable thresholds.

What is a stage 1 warning?

As outlined in the technical area code of conduct, for any activity considered to be irresponsible the match referee has the authority to issue a formal warning to the individual concerned.

Irresponsible behaviour includes but is not limited to:

* inappropriate language and / or gestures towards the match officials which are an obvious show of dissent or an attempt to influence the decisions of the match officials;

* kicking or throwing water bottles, coats or other similar objects in an obvious show of dissent;

* sarcastic clapping and / or other gestures intended to undermine the authority of the match officials;

* entering the opponents’ technical area in an inappropriate manner;

* gesturing waving an imaginary yellow/red card.

* stealing the limelight from Mike Dean

The formal warnings are reported to The FA using the same process as player cautions and dismissals.

One of those reasons might be fake. And yet, there is still no word on a schedule of disciplinary actions for the FA’s oh-so-flawless employees for repeated incompetence and ineptness. Thank goodness VAR’s gotten rid of all the controversy in the game, right?

But back to the strict guidelines, which might just ensure empty touchlines devoid of all managers if actually enforced correctly. Chelsea may have doused the fire in the dugout with a slightly more reserved Sarri taking over from wild-man (unless we were losing) Conte, but other teams may be in deep trouble. Manchester United will presumably be without a manager on the touchline for most of the upcoming campaign. Some of José’s greatest hits are exact violations of the rules laid out.

And it’s only going to get worse for The Special One once media darlings Pep Guardiola and Manchester City, as well as the impeccable and certainly never angry Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool, get routinely excluded from this regulation, while Maurizo Pochettino and Spurs get credit for putting the pressure on but never actually winning it.

In the end, it’ll probably be all Chelsea’s fault anyway, as usual. You’re welcome, FA, for the annual Christmas bonus and party!