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Listening Report: Rule Changes – a Look Back

Rule Changes In one of our listening reports in 2008, six years ago, we asked football fans what they thought of proposed rule changes and innovations in football. In this report we take a look back at their reactions and see what has happened to the plans – are they new rules or still just suggestions.

Listening Report: Rule Changes – a Look Back

Back in 2008 we ran a main report on football innovations. During its history, football has undergone many changes. Back in the 1970s it was 2 points for a win, but in 1981 England’s FA introduced a new rule awarding 3 points for a win. It took 15 years, but now this is the common rule around the world.  Goalkeepers now are unable to pick up the ball if it is passed back to them by a member of their own team. This rule change occurred in 1992. Also, players are able to manage their own contracts and move freely between clubs thanks to the Bosman ruling of 1995.

First: a 39th game in the Premier League was proposed by Richard Scudamore, its Chief executive. What were the fans reactions at the time?
Ridiculous! Absolutely ridiculous. It’s just a money grab by the Premier League and it just doesn’t make any sense.
The 39th game seems to be a money making agenda, so personally I would say no. It’s not a good idea.

This idea is still talked about, and was mentioned again in October 2014 by the Premier League. It seems as though this one hasn’t been shelved just yet.

Idea 2: What about the idea of using foam to measure out the 10 yards a wall should be back in a free kick: An idea first used in the Argentinian League in 2008? Here are the fans:

: I think experimenting is not a bad idea. I have doubts whether it would actually end up being any good. I think there’s a lot of problems…  But it’s worth a try I’d say.
: To be honest I had to clarify the question with Damon. And when I heard it, it’s just so ridiculous that a referee is going to stand there and spray a line which hopefully will last a minute. What happens after a minute if the ball isn’t back. Do we get more spray? I mean it sounds as if we’re getting too American for me, so the answer is no.
Keeping players back with spray at set pieces is not just a bad idea – it’s a ludicrous idea. Definitely no good.

Well, this one has been adopted by most major leagues around the world after it featured in the 2014 World Cup. This idea is here to stay!

Idea 3 and 4: The idea of match officials on the goal line? Or how about goal line technology like videos and replays? Again, this is what the fans said in 2008:

…but the whole idea of extra officials on the goal-line, we don’t need an extra official, we just need to use technology. And we’ve got the technology, we can 99% of the time see, as spectators, what happens immediately, so I don’t know why a fourth official can’t watch a monitor and give an answer. We don’t need all this extra stuff.
Having extra officials on the goal-line may be a good idea. I’m not opposed to that, but I think goal-line technology may be a better idea. Using technology to work out if the ball has crossed the line seems to be a good idea in this day and age.

Extra match officials have been used in the Europa League and other UEFA competitions, but really it is the adoption of goal-line technology that has succeeded in this area. It was used in the 2014 World Cup and is also now part of the Premier League, after making its debut in 2013. Extra officials look as though they may not stay, but goal line technology will spread.

So, our panel back in 2008 were against the 39th game, and it is still only an idea. They were also against vanishing spray for free kicks, but this idea is now part of the game. As for goal-line controversies, they could all see a place for technology but were sceptical about extra officials.

What new ideas or rule changes will the next few years bring? Whatever they are, you can guarantee they will be controversial to begin with!


proposed: planned; suggested

ridiculous: stupid; crazy

been shelved: been cancelled; been stopped; been forgotten about

worth a try: OK to see if it works

ludicrous: ridiculous

See the original post on innovations in football.

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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