Which rule changes worked well? And what could we see coming in to the game in the future?
Dermot Gallagher gave his verdict on a Ref Watch special on Sky Sports News on Tuesday.
The former Premier League ref ran through the big rule changes for the 2017/18 season, and also gave his three suggestions going forward.
We also ran through your Twitter suggestions, with some mixed responses from Dermot…
Simulation is now retrospectively charged – Everton forward Oumar Niasse was the first to be banned for two games for a dive against Crystal Palace in November
DERMOT’S VIEW: I think it has been a success, it has acted as a deterrent and when there has been a problem the player has got a two-match ban. This has been a really good rule change.
Oumar Niasse was the first player to receive a retrospective ban for diving
ABBA penalties – Due to perceived advantage for team taking first penalty in shoot-out, ABBA format now enforced
DERMOT’S VIEW: I was never really sure how it was going to be applied; people said those teams taking the first penalty had a massive advantage, I wasn’t convinced by that. For me it is just a new way of taking penalty shoot-outs and has had little impact, but it is there to see later on if the advantage changes.
VAR introduced into English football for the first time in cup competitions
DERMOT’S VIEW: It has gotten better, and quicker. The communication issue is being addressed and we’re moving forward to ideas as to how it can be transmitted quicker to the public. Without doubt, the people operating it are more adept at what they’re doing, so the decision comes much quicker.
Gareth Southgate says the use of VAR would benefit from clearer communication between referees and fans
Pitch designs banned for the 2017/18 season due to perceived impact on assistant referees
DERMOT’S VIEW: The reason is so the assistant can better judge the offside. Leicester and Southampton always went out of their way to make the pitch look fantastic, but it wasn’t always good for the assistants!
Dermot’s suggestions for future rule changes
Check for penalties inside or out of box
DERMOT’S VIEW: I’ve always said that if a referee whistles, and it’s very close to the penalty area, they should check it. I just think it is such a massive difference between free-kick and penalty, there’s never a quick free-kick in that position so someone can look at the monitor and check. It’s a fact, like GDS, and I’d really like that. That will come with VAR soon, anyhow.
Games are 35 minutes each way with clock stopping when ball goes out of play
DERMOT’S VIEW: I was on the task force in 1995 in Stockholm, and suggested we played 35 minutes each way with the clock stopping when the ball goes out of play. People said that would be too long (average game is around 60 minutes in play). I think it would work, and it saves the aggro the referees gets when there is time-wasting. You also have it up on the clock and everyone can see, it’s totally transparent.
Nearest player takes throw-in
DERMOT’S VIEW: I just find it outrageous that a footballer will chuck it to his mate, he will change his mind and chuck it on to someone else. A throw-in is one of the easiest things in the world to take, so the nearest player should pick it up and take it.
Brian Murphy @BrianMurphyLFC – Refs need to be mic’d up so we can understand their decisions. It would help the ref and the fans in the long run. It would also help with a potential campaign to clean up the language used towards refs. Does Dermot agree?
DERMOT’S VIEW: They have it in rugby and cricket. It’s a great idea, but it would take some work, a lot of parameters would have to be checked. At what point is it going to be used? Who will have access? Do we go the whole hog? Will it be used to explain a decision? All or nothing?
Stephen @charliechan33 – Shielding the ball in the box to go out for a goal kick should be a penalty. It is a clear foul, with no intention of playing the ball. Anywhere else on the pitch is a free kick #AskDermot
DERMOT’S VIEW: When I came from Ireland at 16, that was always a foul. Now it has just evolved into shielding the ball off. If you listen to some commentators they call it: “Superb body strength!” and think it is now an accepted part of the game. It’s just what we’ve come to expect, what we now see, and it’s now part and parcel of the game. Sometimes they’re two or three yards from the line, sometimes eight to 10 yards! Even the attacker often doesn’t complain, so it will be difficult to change.
Felix_NUFC @Felix_NUFC – no booking for celebrating with fans
DERMOT’S VIEW: The difficult with this is that it’s up to the referee who has incited and who hasn’t incited fans. I wonder really whether the referee can just report it and the FA later decide. But at the moment, it’s up to the referee, he has no choice and that’s where we are.
cliff drew @gandalfsmate – Introduce a sin bin for persistent “minor” offences. For example, make shirt pulling an offence and punish it. If not a yellow card then players could be sent to the sin bin. If it happens again play the yellow card.
DERMOT’S VIEW: I think if you spoke to football fans, this is what they want more than anything. Technical offences I think people will accept a player being off the pitch for five or 10 minutes. I think it’s a really good idea.
-Z- @myfootballtrial – until VAR comes in fully, allow managers 1 challenge per half for obvious goal scoring errors, ie pens and offsides
DERMOT’S VIEW: I’m dead against this, and the reason is that in certain games, you may well see managers use it as a tactic. If a penalty is given, he knows it’s a penalty, and when I was a player I just wanted to take the penalty quickly. If it takes two or three minutes, you’ve actually put all the pressure on the attacking player.