5 Premier League Rules That Need to Be Changed
Rules are rules, as the saying goes, although equally, rules are there to be broken. In the case of the Premier League, there are in fact several such laws that really could do with being tweaked.
With world football’s governing body FIFA being responsible for the actual rules of the game itself, the majority of these top-flight laws that need amending are more concerned with off-the-pitch administrative matters as opposed to on-field issues such as the offside rule.
So, tell us whether you agree with our choices, and if not, which laws would you like to see changed in the Premier League?
The Homegrown Rule
At the start of the 2010-11 season, the Premier League introduced their much-publicised, homegrown rule, whereby each club would submit a squad of 25 players at the beginning of the campaign, eight of whom would be homegrown.
This would have the knock-on effect of giving more opportunities to young English thoroughbreds to compete in the greatest league in the world, ultimately raising the standard of the English national team in the process, too.
However, the problem is that the definition of a homegrown player was anyone who had been trained by either an English or Welsh Football Association club for three years prior to their 21st birthdays.
The result being that far from seeing the top flight now awash with eye-catching young Englishmen all ready to go straight into Roy Hodgson’s side at next summer’s World Cup in Brazil, all clubs have actually been doing is scouring the European and world markets ever more rigorously for wunderkinds, as we have seen with recent new Manchester United prodigy Adnan Januzaj (pictured).
So, how about altering the rule so that homegrown does actually mean homegrown, for instance, born in the UK?
Retrospective Disciplinary Action
Last season, we had the absolutely farcical situation whereby Wigan Athletic wide man Callum McManaman went unpunished following his X-rated tackle on Newcastle United’s Massadio Haidara in the Premier League because of the organisation’s ever-so-confusing refusal to allow such incidents to be judged retrospectively if the referee or one of his assistants claims to have seen it.
Consequently, as the whole world watched in horror as the Merseysider literally left his mark on the defenceless Magpie and then the incident was both endlessly discussed and replayed, McManaman was free to carry on playing without even so much as a warning as to his future conduct.
Now, surely after this embarrassment the Premier League should tweak this rule to avoid such a thing ever happening again, as the men in the middle cannot be expected to see and then call every incident correctly.
And before you say it, no the introduction of the new three-man panel comprising former referees to sit in judgement on such matters every Monday, while obviously welcome, will not prevent a repeat of what happened at the DW stadium last March.
Back at the start of the 2008-09 season, the Premier League decided to introduce a ban on third-party ownership following the fallout from the whole Carlos Tevez affair.
As a result, no longer is it possible for a top-flight club to own 50 per cent of a player’s economic rights while, say, an overseas investment fund owns the remaining 50 per cent, as is common in many other European leagues and all across South America, too.
In fact, one of the biggest transfers of the whole year involving Radamel Falcao’s (pictured above) move from Atletico de Madrid to AS Monaco involved such as third-party ownership structure.
However, not only is this rule requiring Premier League clubs to own 100 per cent of a player surely illegal under EU laws detailing the restriction of people’s freedom of enterprise, but one also has to question just why it has been introduced in the first place?
Yes, the principles of the thinking behind it are understandable, but it does appear to be far too sweeping, while at the same time, for less financially well-off clubs, the previous setup did at least allow them to be able to raise funds to buy big-money players.
Whereas as it stands now, there will be no Falcao in the Premier League to watch any time soon, so how about simply reversing the rule back to its original state?
Redistribution of TV Money
In the 21-year history of the Premier League, we have had just five winners, although two of those have been one-hit wonders, while serial victors Manchester United have cleaned up in 13 of the 20 seasons.
Too boring and predictable, with only a handful of mega-rich, top-flight siders ever capable of being crowned champions come the end of the day? Well maybe that is because of the current rules regarding the even distribution of television money, whereby the club finishing at the bottom of the table pretty much gets the same as the champions.
So why not change that law and simply copy what the Americans do in the National Football League whereby the side that finishes the campaign at the head of the pile then gets the smallest share of the TV revenue the following season, while the team with the worst record gets the biggest percentage?
When coupled with the introduction of a league-wide salary cap, fans could start off a new campaign with virtually no idea whatsoever as to which club will be crowned champions come the end of the campaign.
How exciting and novel an idea would that be, compared to the staid situation we find ourselves in currently?
The Loan System
The current loan system is, frankly, ridiculous and needs radically altering, and fast, because at present it is simply being abused by the big boys to their own advantages.
Now, what happens under the system is that big-spending, top-flight clubs like Chelsea amass a whole load of promising young foreign stars, however, rather than trusting their own instincts on those players and handing them a berth in their first-team squad, the new boys are instead simply loaned out to, say, Vitesse Arnhem to see how they get on.
If by chance the new man’s employer then decides he likes of the look of what he sees, he may at some point further down the line get recalled to win a spot in their 25-man Premier League squad.
However, if on the other hand things do not quite go according to plan and the club’s initial judgement is actually shown to be wide of the mark, then it is no great loss, with the player being shipped out elsewhere instead.
Whereas other less financially secure Premier League sides are not so lucky and must back their eye for spotting young talent in the hope that their new recruits are able to go straight into their setup.
So perhaps the loan rule should be tweaked so that clubs can only loan out, say, homegrown players under the age of 25, and when I say homegrown, I am talking about the newly introduced definition of the term that was talked about earlier—not the current meaning.
Finally, let’s get rid of the rule whereby a loanee cannot play against his parent club. Either you are prepared to allow said individual to go out on loan and gain valuable first-team experience with a rival, which means that team having full control over when their new recruit can and cannot play, or the deal does not go ahead.
As you cannot have it both ways whereby a loaned player pops up to score a goal, say, that ultimately may adversely affect a rival of his parent club, and yet that team then puts its foot down to prevent the very same thing from happening against them.