The new Premier League that is two decades two late…

Colleen Rooney has just started to recalculate her childcare budget. She can do this safe in the knowledge that there will be another pair of hands around a lot more frequently from August to help with the growing Rooney clan.

The reason for this apparent improvement in the Rooney family finances is, of course, the introduction of the new ‘Intolerable Behaviour’ rules, which cover confronting match officials and offensive language.

The word ‘apparent’ is used as the money not paid out to childminders and nannies will be consumed by BACS payments to the Premier League relating to the fines husband Wayne will undoubtedly clock up.

If Rooney can’t swear at, jump in front of and generally try to intimidate referees, what will he do?

These new rules are well overdue, yet very welcome. The offence of swearing at a referee has long-since demanded a red card in local leagues, but Premier League posers have used a multitude of words even Roy Chubby Brown would think twice before uttering without hardly a second glance from the authorities.

One of the worst historic examples was, surprisingly enough, from a former captain of Manchester United. Roy Keane led half a dozen players in pursuit of Andy D’urso after he ‘disgracefully, unpatriotically’ yet correctly, had the audacity to award a penalty to Middlesbrough at Old Trafford. Keane only received a yellow for that incident – it should have arguably been a three-match ban.

It has been stated on numerous occasions that these over-paid pretty boys are role models for young players. That means they will think it is okay to tell the referee to ‘go boil his head’ (politically correct version) or to shake their heads and wave their finger in his direction (again, politically correct) when a decision goes against them.

Managers and coaches will also be subject to this new regime. Incidents have boiled over off the pitch with shouting and pushing matches between managers and players, managers and managers, and managers and backroom staff. There are a number of, how should it be put, ‘personalities’ in the 2016/17 Premier League who will almost certainly fall foul of this rule.

Only when a big name player is sent off the opening minutes of a major match for indicating his displeasure at the official in the wrong manner will things start to change. They will ‘get it’, or should it be said, some will get it. Others will still think they are bigger than the game or club or officials (for example, please refer to England’s Euro 2016 squad).

Rules changes in football are usually as popular as Roy Keane at a Alf-Inge Harland lookalike reunion. Or Roy Keane at almost anything, in fact.

This one is. It is just a shame it came a couple of decades too late to sort out one or two thugs who desperately needed it.

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