Premier League’s ‘New Normal’

Premier League returns

Premier League returns on Wednesday June 17 after a three month unprecedented break

Premier League’s ‘New Normal’

  • Premier League set to resume on June 17
  • The league will witness a series of changes from the ‘normal’
  • Teams will be allowed more subs, no fans allowed, water-breaks for players
  • Mental Health and Psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Premier League is set to return on June 17 and will witness a raft of changes.

The long wait for Premier League action is nearly over with fans and players all looking forward to the return which is over two weeks away.

The Premier League, alongside sporting events around the world, were thrown into an unexpected hiatus caused by the novel of the coronavirus.

Gradually, sporting events have been resuming with Bundesliga approaching its third week of action. Other leagues across Europe have been preparing for a resumption with LaLiga and Serie A engaged in preparations with players back in training.

The resumption of the games is set to witness a raft of changes from the ‘normal’:

Substitutes

IFAB announces that teams will be allowed to make FIVE substitutions per match
Many clubs are supporting the proposal to increase substitutions to five per game on return

As quoted in Project Restart, the league has proposed an increase on the number of substitutes in games.

Teams will now be allowed to make more than three substitutions when the games resume. With 92 remaining fixtures packed in a small period of time, issues of fatigue and injuries are set to appear.

Chelsea have submitted their own proposal to increase the number of substitutes on the bench from seven to nine to try and facilitate this.

Clubs with bigger squads will be able to avert this issue by employing rotation of players – those with smaller squads will be affected.

Re-Registered players

Clubs could also be allowed to re-register players who were omitted from squads submitted in January.

This will allow players, who were hit with long-term injuries and were omitted from squads, to make appearances when the games resume.

Newcastle Defender
Newcastle defender Paul Dummett, who returned to training last month after a tendon problem, could be one beneficiary of the proposal

 Multi-ball system

This feature is often witnessed in European competition or in big Premier League games where the home side seek to gain an advantage by keeping a relentless flow to the game.

Multi-ball system
With ball boys set to miss when the games resume, this system is meant to help with this

Some clubs feel the proposal will deny players the time to recover from fatigue when the ball is out of play, which is particularly problematic with games being played in the middle of summer.

The rationale is to limit lengthy stoppages when the ball is kicked into empty stands.

Water Breaks

With Premier League games set to take place in British midsummer for the first time, there is a real possibility of temperatures exceeding this threshold in June and July.

Premier League’s ‘New Normal’
Cooling breaks, first used at the 2014 World Cup, could also be brought in when play returns

A water break would appear to be a sensible measure, with players likely to be more fatigued than usual, even before the heat is taken into account.

But there are some concerns that it could level the playing field, and offer teams with a lower fitness base to recover mid-game.