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Ten radical rule changes for the new Premier League season

Ten radical rule changes are made for the new Premier League season, some will please fans and others are bound to cause a stir on social media.

Rules were often broken or ignored last season despite being implemented, the International Football Association Board (IFAB)’s wanted changes to the use of VAR pitchside monitors as well as the handball and penalty rules.

The report, which came out a year ago, claimed that referees were much more likely to spend time reviewing decisions via pitch-side monitors, something that was not seen enough in the 2018/19 campaign, and you could say the same for 19/20.

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The IFAB said in a statement: “Where a reviewable incident is subjective, the expectation is that the referee will undertake an ‘on-field review’.

“It was furthermore agreed that more insight into the decision-making process, for example access to the conversation between match officials during a review, would not be appropriate at this point, but that more effort should be made to enhance existing communication approaches to improve understanding of the review process and the referee’s final decision.”

‘Accidental handball’ has been a huge topic of conversation this season, that is something that has been addressed.

The statement added: “Accidental handball by an attacking player should only be penalised if it ‘immediately’ results in a goal or an obvious opportunity for the player and/or their team to score a goal (i.e.

following the handball, the ball travels only a short distance and/or there are very few passes).

“For the purposes of determining handball offences, the ‘arm’ stops at the bottom of the armpit.”

From the 2020/2021 season, they penalty kicks will only be retaken if the keeper comes off their line and saves the penalty.

Meaning that if the penalty is off target, it won’t be retaken despite the keeper coming off their line.

However, encroachment will result in a penalty being retaken even if it’s scored or not.

So what are these ten radical new rule changes for the new Premier League season? Find out for yourself below…


The players will come out to new walk-on music for the pre-game rituals, created by MassiveMusic. No handshakes for the foreseeable future.


New season, new ball. Probably “rounder” than the last.

This time it’s the Nike Flight, promising “30 per cent truer flight” and “improved aerodynamics through a revolutionary ball design”. Of course.


Under Fifa demands, top flight refs must now use the monitor to confirm changes to “subjective” calls rather than implementing the judgement of the VAR.

Factual calls such as offside decisions remain in the hands of Stockley Park. Joy. 


The shoulder is no longer part of the arm, assistant referees must keep their flags down until the attacker gets his shot away and encroachment at penalties MUST be strictly penalised by VARs.


Now it’s blue for the defensive line and green OR red for the attacking line, once the 3D crosshairs have been applied.

Green is onside, red offside and Premier League chiefs think it will aid clarity.

But FIFA’s intervention meant that no “wider lines” and 10cm “tolerance zone” as being planned. Stand by for another season of ‘armpit offsides’.


Darren England and Robert Jones have been promoted from the English Football League, with assistants James Mainwaring and Tim Wood also upgraded.

The rest of the list is unchanged with no refs standing down.


New Nike kits in black, “volt” (luminous yellow), “hyper turquoise” and “vivid purple”. Quite a sight for the eyes!


New Prem official timekeeper Hublot’s sponsorship means the board will be shaped to represent their Big Bang Unico sports watch being worn by officials.


Maybe. But not yet and certainly not before October, although seems likely to be extended to November at least.

Ballots for season ticket holders and no away supporters seem likely when the turnstiles begin to open, too.


Clubs made a U-turn so all 28 games in September will be screened live, including one on the BBC.

With coronavirus restrictions likely to be extended, clubs and broadcasters will be under pressure to ensure all matches remain accessible until fans are allowed back.

Many a manager has voiced their anger towards the rules for the previous two seasons.

The first time monitors were used in 2019-20 was by Michael Oliver in an FA Cup third-round tie between Crystal Palace and Derby County.

As a result, he upgraded a yellow card for Palace’s Luka Milivojevic to a red.

This approach had not been witnessed often since then, with the next notable occasion coming in the game between Southampton and Newcastle some time after in March, when referee Graham Scott upgraded Moussa Djenepo’s yellow to a red after consulting the pitchside monitor.

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