The Premier League, along with The FA, EFL and the referees’ governing body, PGMOL, have today launched a new charter for the 2023/24 season, introducing measures to promote responsible behaviour from players, managers and coaches at matches.
Here are more details as to why and what fans can expect to see.
Why is this charter being introduced?
Last season there was a significant increase in unacceptable behaviour towards match officials from players, managers and coaches in the Premier League and in competitions of the EFL and The FA.
The football authorities believe that actions within the professional game filter down to grassroots level and youth football, and that this cannot be allowed to continue.
They have introduced this charter to apply to behaviour on the pitch and in the technical area. The charter has been drafted in partnership with the League Managers Association (LMA) and the Professional Footballers Association (PFA).
Match officials will be empowered to take more robust action when participant behaviour falls below expected standards, and The FA will apply stronger supplementary disciplinary action.
The charter’s aims are:
1) To protect the reputation of the game and set an example to all those who play football at every level.
2) To instil a culture of responsibility and tolerance that players, managers and coaches commit to.
How will this charter be enforced?
Match officials are being empowered to take robust action and issue yellow and red cards where behaviour falls below expected standards. In addition, The FA will also apply strong supplementary disciplinary action against those who fail to adhere to the new charter.
Team captains are expected to take responsibility for their team-mates, who will receive cards for any confrontation, surrounding or invasion of the match official’s personal space.
The code of conduct for the technical area on a pitch has also been rewritten to reflect the new charter.
- Only one person can stand at the front of the technical area and coach during the match. Only one other person is allowed to stand, but they must remain close to the technical area seating. All other occupants must remain seated.
- Coaching staff cannot use technology to challenge a decision made by match officials.
- Coaching staff must remain within their own technical area during the match.
- They must not enter the pitch to confront any match official at half-time or at full-time.
- Occupants of the technical area who have been dismissed are not allowed to take a seat in the stand, return to the field of play post-match, or conduct any post-match media.
Are there other measures being taken to support the charter?
Serious and repeat offenders will be handed increased financial penalties as punishment.
In addition, Academy players will take refereeing courses to improve their education into officiating.
Are these changes only for the professional game?
No. In the grassroots game new regulations will include points deductions for players and coaches who commit repeated offences of serious misconduct, while match officials will be further empowered to use temporary dismissals to combat dissent.
Furthermore, The FA, working alongside Kick it Out, has created a joint action plan to tackle serious misconduct in grassroots football among participants as well as spectators.
The plan focuses on three key areas: increasing awareness and knowledge of serious incidents and how to report them; enhancing reporting processes by making them clearer and more accessible; and a commitment to tackling ‘problem areas’ in the game where serious incidents are most prevalent. The outputs from the action plan will be rolled out across the season.
When does this charter start?
It will be applied to the EFL fixtures when the 2023/24 season starts (weekend 5/6 August) and for the Premier League when it begins on Friday 11 August.