The new Premier League rule book is out, and can be viewed here. My main interest in it is to see what they’ve done to rules about ownership that will affect the Kroenke/Usmanov dynamic, but at first sight I can’t see what’s different in those sections. So while I check that in more detail, here’s another titbit from the riveting 500-plus pages.
You may have heard that all PL pitches now have to be a standard size, which is 105m x 68m, bringing it in line with the Uefa standard. I always feel it’s a bit anachronistic to measure anything football-related in metres, given that all the internal measurements of the pitch are in yards – the centre circle, the penalty area, six-yard box, distance of penalty spot from goal, the goal size itself, the corner quadrants – but that’s what it is.
The effect of this standardisation is of course that the likes of Stoke can’t suddenly make the pitch narrower to try and restrict more skilful teams, but I’m slightly saddened by the change. The FA laws of the game haven’t changed, of course, this is just the PL rules, so outside The Greatest League In The World (TM) and the Uefa competitions you can still do what you like – sort of. I have always quite liked the fact that pitches can be different sizes and could in theory be almost square. Variety can be good. But the PL rulebook grows ever longer with new rules about everything you can possibly think of.
Look what they say about protecting the pitch, for example (and this is only part of it):
There are rules about where and for how long you can warm up, for God’s sake! There are rules about where subs can run up and down. There are rules about watering. There are even rules about where you can give instructions from in the technical area:
So you can only give instructions from the EDGE of the technical area. So if you see a manager standing in the middle of his area shouting at players, he is breaking the rules. I don’t think they’ve thought that wording through, have they.
Which brings me back to my original point: have they thought through the rule changes to ownership? When I can find what they actually are, I’ll share it with you.