Football is constantly changing and evolving. 1981 saw the introduction of three points, instead of two, in the English football league. This immediately increased the value of a win and stands today as one of the most successful and simple changes ever made o the game. All-seater stadiums were made compulsory in the Premier League from as recently as the 1994-95 season, while this term has seen the introduction of the home-grown rule aimed at protecting the national game.
Despite FIFA’s reluctance to discuss goal-line technology, the international governing body of football, alongside the Premier League and UEFA, are prepared to make changes when deemed necessary. So what changes are we likely to see in the future? Find out below….
A debt free Premier League?
UEFA has made tackling the enormous debt threatening to engulf European football their number one priority after approving new spending plans in May. By 2012 clubs must start to at least break even at the end of each financial year and a failure to do so will lead to UEFA imposed sanctions, the most severe being exclusion from European football.
The new spending regulations will have major implications on the Premier League. Portsmouth became the first club in Premier League history to go into administration, while a recent report showed that England’s top-flight clubs owe an astonishing 56% of Europe’s total debt.
Clubs will now have to spend wisely and work tirelessly to move away from the red and this can only be positive for the financial stability of English football. It could have a major impact on the transfer market over the next few years and the influence of foreign ownership and other benefactors. A debt free Premier League may be too ambitious but the initial steps taken will help protect the future of the game for years to come.
A breakaway super league?
Despite UEFA’s honest intentions for reducing debt, their severe stance on lending and borrowing could back-fire. Nine of the last ten Champions League winners are also amongst the top ten clubs in European football carrying the most debt. Manchester United are top of this list with a total debt standing at £727m, although they are closely followed by the likes of AC Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid.
UEFA rely on these major clubs to attract viewers, sponsorship and revenue and they are realistically too important to the competition to ban completely. UEFA would be left with a glorified Europa League. These clubs may also make the decision for UEFA and decide they do not need the Champions League and enter into discussions to form a breakaway league, something which has been discussed in the past between members of the now defunct elite G-14 unit.
Robotic linesmen and further rule changes?
Linesmen up and down the country will be pleased to hear that they could be replaced in the future by robots. A university in South Africa has created a programme which can learn human behavior, something which could be developed further and used to make decisions on matchday. Although, we are still undecided if they will be able to get their head around the interfering with play rule.
Goal-line technology remains the obvious potential change, however FIFA are refusing to discuss the matter and rejected a proposal from the Italian Football Federation to trail run the technology in a pre-season friendly. Global positioning systems could also be implemented to give the referee instantaneous live feedback on players and the position of the ball on the field, helping eradicate human error. A ten-minute sin-bin rule for a yellow card offence has also been discussed in a bid to deter sides from repetitive fouling.
Genetic superhuman athletes?
Players would wear their own bespoke kit designed to replace the vital fluids lost through sweating during a game. Such minerals could be incorporated into the fabric of a football kit.
Training would also be revolutionised so club’s can asses a player’s nervous system capabilities throughout a session, as well as electronic equipment which could adapt instantaneously to ensure an optimum workout. This, and other advances, will lead to players being able to cover 50% more ground than today’s Premier League players and increase speed of movement by 15%. Recovery times will also be increased by 300% through cryotherapy and magnetic therapy. Individualised pre-match drinks will also release nutrients at specific times during a game, meaning fatigue will be a thing of the past.
Stadium living and an interactive live match experience?
Newly built stadiums will be complete with villages, residential areas and retail complexes. Fans will be able to live in a campus-style compound around the ground in their own little community, for the ultimate supporter’s experience.
The match day experience will also be revolutionised with miniature monitors placed in each seat with varying camera angles and in-seat services. Food and drink will also be able to be ordered over the internet and brought to your seat. Vibrating seats could also be optional.