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The Impact of New Laws in Premier League Matches

The application of new laws in the Premier League can be a source of frustration for coaches, players, and fans.

 
1:14pm on Sunday 5th September 2021
By
Team FC

The application of new laws in the Premier League can be a source of frustration for coaches, players, and fans. Teams are briefed before the start of the season to let them know what to expect and the levels of conduct expected by match officials, but how stringently are these new laws applied and does that give some teams an unfair advantage?

New Rules for the 2023/24 Season

There are some relatively minor changes and updates to existing rules, as well as some major changes that could have a big impact on the game. These include:

Match Duration

The duration of matches will take certain breaks in play into consideration and will see additional time added for the time it takes for substitutions to be made, goals and goal celebrations, injuries, treatments, penalties, red cards, and stops in play for VAR to be checked.

This rule was implemented in the men's and women's World Cup matches. The match between England and Iran on November 21st, 2022, lasted 117 minutes and 16 seconds. This was due to injuries that required on-field treatment.

Dissent

Referees will always have to use a level of discretion when dealing with certain situations. If a player shows dissent, the referee will be far more likely to issue a yellow card.

This will also apply to substitutes and coaching staff as a way to curb poor behaviour on and off the pitch.

Denying Obvious Goalscoring Opportunities

If a player concedes a penalty and denies the player a clear and obvious goalscoring opportunity, they would previously have been issued a red card. The new rule will see this downgraded to a yellow card if the player is making a genuine attempt to play the ball.

Offside

FIFA and the IFAB have determined that when defenders make a deliberate play such as passing the ball, winning possession of the ball, or clearing the ball, attackers in an offside position will not be penalised.

Potential Impact of Rule Changes

These rule changes are an attempt to minimise the risk of time-wasting and increase the time spent with the ball in play, reduce referee abuse and give them more control, and clear up potential disputes surrounding offside decisions.

The issue for many lies in how different referees may interpret situations. Fourth officials and the introduction of VAR have seen an attempt to standardise the level of refereeing in major tournaments and leagues. However, there will always be a human element to the decisions being made.

Fans will always believe that referees are out to get them, and historic instances of certain teams being favoured have gained legendary status.

The idea of "Fergie Time" came about due to Alex Ferguson's insistence on referees allowing additional stoppage time. The ability of Manchester United to battle to the final whistle and score late goals fuelled this theory.

With millions of pounds at stake in the Premier League, referee decisions will be scrutinised, and it is not just the finances of the teams involved at stake. Games running over by as long as 20 extra minutes can completely change the outcome of bets. This could lead to an increase in live betting and people using the most experienced best betting site names in the UK that have cash-out options. Markets on bookings will also change as referees become stricter. This could lead to odds dropping significantly for individual player booking markets.

As teams get used to the new rules, it could see a change in betting behaviour to favour teams that have a strong focus on fitness. It is also likely that managers will be more tactical with their substitutions to ensure they have fresh legs for the end of a match.

Teams that favour a high press could suffer in matches that are extended. This could also have an impact over the course of a season in terms of player fitness and injuries.

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