No more knees and the return of five substitutions… the most important changes in the Premier League
Finally the day has come. The Premier League is back tonight as Crystal Palace host Arsenal to kick off nine months of exciting entertainment.
There have been many personnel changes in England’s top flight over the summer, with a string of new star signings including Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez, as well as a new man in the Manchester United dugout in the form of Erik ten Hag.
But what else will be different this season? sports mail takes a look at some of the key things to look out for.
Pre-game handshakes are back!
They’re the source of some of the Premier League’s most controversial moments (I look at you Wayne Bridge, John Terry, Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra) but shaking hands hasn’t been part of the pre-game routine since the fears the spread of the coronavirus began in March 2020.
Since then teams have just lined up and then passed each other in a friendly but somewhat awkward manner before games.
But not anymore. After two and a half years, handshakes are back!
The pre-game handshake will return for the first time since before the March 2020 pandemic
However, knee kicks will only take place on select games
Another ritual that became synonymous with pandemic football was kneeling before games to show support for the fight against racism.
It has continued for the last two seasons but earlier this week it was confirmed that clubs will no longer take part in the gesture at every game in 2022-23. The Premier League captains made the decision after consulting their team-mates.
Instead, players will take a knee before select rounds of matches, including the first and final weekends, Boxing Day and the cup final. There will also be special No Room for Racism gameweeks in October and March.
Premier League players will only take a knee before select rounds of games this season
When football returned from lockdown in June 2020, Premier League clubs were allowed to make five substitutions per game to ease the strain on their squad.
This rule was then abolished, although most other European leagues and UEFA competitions retain it.
But the top clubs have now agreed to bring five substitutes back into the game. Teams can make changes at three points in the game, excluding halftime.
Liverpool assistant boss Pep Lijnders believes the decision “saved football” and that the way teams use their subs will be “the defining aspect of this season”.
Clubs can make five substitutions over three points in the game, excluding half-time
There has been talk of the Premier League introducing a winter break for several years, but thanks to the World Cup, it’s finally here.
The tournament in Qatar means there will be no games between November 13th and December 26th. Clubs have been given permission to play friendlies during this six-week period, while many are likely to fly to warm-weather training camps.
The Christmas schedule is also said to be less chaotic than normal, with teams being given more free time between games.
The World Cup in Qatar in winter means there will be no league games for six weeks
Out with the old…
At the end of last season, we said goodbye to one of the game’s greats: Mike Dean. After a 22-year career in the top division, the goal-celebrating, snooping assistant referee resigned.
He wasn’t the only one. Jon Moss and Martin Atkinson also retired late last season and have taken up roles with PGMOL, while Kevin Friend has stepped down to develop and train championship umpires.
Such an exodus of officials onto the pitch means we’ll see some new faces midway through this season. Tom Bramall, Natalie Aspinall, Nick Greenhalgh and Steve Meredith have all been granted referee status for Premier League games.
Legendary referee Mike Dean has retired after a 22-year career in the top flight
Penalty and offside rule changes
New judges and some new rules. I’m sure Dua Lipa will be happy.
Firstly, the positioning of goalkeepers in penalty shootouts has been changed. When the penalty kick is taken, goalkeepers must have at least part of one foot touching the goal line or in line with or behind the goal line.
They must also have at least part of one foot on or over the line at the precise moment a penalty kick is taken, which means they cannot be behind or in front of the goal line.
Then there’s offsides, which have caused some of the biggest debates since the inception of VAR. For the new season, offsiders will not be automatically sidelined when an opposing player touches the ball.
The guidelines state: “Intentional play is when a player has control of the ball and has the ability to pass the ball to a teammate, gain possession of the ball, or clear the ball.
“If the pass, attempt to gain possession of the ball, or release by the player in possession is inaccurate or unsuccessful, the fact that the player played the ball intentionally is not negated.”
Offside players are not automatically placed offside when an opposing player touches the ball
Data from last season showed that the ball was only in play for an average of 55 minutes and seven seconds in Premier League matches.
To counter this, a new multi-ball system was introduced, allowing 10 balls to be used during a game.
Along with the cue ball, one is with the fourth official and the other eight are scattered along the side of the field.
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health/no-more-taking-the-knee-and-the-return-of-five-subs-the-key-changes-in-the-premier-league/ No more knees and the return of five substitutions… the most important changes in the Premier League