Premier League guidelines on suspensions: key rule changes on yellow and red cards for 2023/24 season

A number of new rules have been introduced to the Premier League this season
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Premier League referees will be brandishing more bookings than ever before this season as the game looks to clamp down on discipline.

The revamped rules were put into place for the first time during Arsenal’s Community Shield triumph over Manchester City and they have already been met with fierce criticism in the opening weeks of the season.

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But what are the new guidelines in the Premier League this season and how have people reacted to the changes.

Here’s everything you need to know.

What are the Premier League rules on yellow cards?

Premier League players will receive a one match ban if they accumulate five yellow cards within the first 19 games of the campaign. Yellow card bans will only be applied to Premier League matches and will not be carried over to any cup competition such as the Champions League or FA Cup.

The 19 game mark offers players a slight reprieve but they can still face more severe sanctions if they are to reach double figures for bookings over the course of the campaign.

Those who are booked 10 or more times before the 32nd match day of the season will receive a two game ban. A number of changes have also been made to protect referees within the game and encourage further respect to officials. An automatic booking will be brandished if more than one player approaches the referee to appeal a decision.

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Likewise an automatic yellow card will also be shown if a player runs from a distance to appeal a decision with an official.

How will the changes be applied to managers?

Mikel Arteta is known for his passion in the managerial dugout. (Getty Images)Mikel Arteta is known for his passion in the managerial dugout. (Getty Images)
Mikel Arteta is known for his passion in the managerial dugout. (Getty Images)

Premier League managers are renowned for making their feelings known on the touchline when a decision is made against their team. Notable examples of this from years gone by include Alex Ferguson, Neil Warnock, Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte.

More recent examples include Mikel Arteta, Jurgen Klopp and Roberto De Zerbi. However, Premier League rule changes state that there will be harsher penalties for managers who show aggressive behaviour to the officials.

Traditionally when a manager has been sent off they have often been able to watch the games from the stands away from the dugout. A notable example of this was Arsene Wenger who was sent to the stands for kicking a water battle during his side's defeat to Man Utd in 2009.

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This no longer applies in the 2023/24 campaign and managers will no longer be able to watch the game from the stands if they are sent off. 

The rule changes are also clamping down on aggressive behaviour by members of the coaching team and an automatic yellow card will be brandished if more than one member of the coaching team enters the technical area. 

This could prove particularly frustrating for Newcastle United as Eddie Howe is often seen alongside his right hand man Jason Tindall.

Will games be longer this season?

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar made headlines for a number of non-sporting reasons.  But one of the most talked about points on the pitch was the length of games with fourth officials adding on more time than ever before in a bid to clamp down on time wasting.

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These changes divided opinion around the football world at the time, but it appears these changes are here to stay in the Premier League moving forward.

New rules state that referees are now obliged to time game stoppages for goals, celebrations, substitutions and injuries. Leading to more additional time than ever before.

What are the rules on red cards in the Premier League?

As was the case last season, Premier League players will be suspended for three games if they are sent off for violent conduct.

The length of this ban can be reduced or extended upon review as we saw with Fulham striker Alexandar Mitrovic who missed a total of eight Premier League games.

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A two match ban will be issued if a player is sent off for dissent. A ban for a red card will apply to all domestic competitions such as the FA Cup or Carabao Cup. But bans will not be applied to European competitions.

How have people reacted to the rule changes?

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville believes there will be "massive problems" with the new Premier League and EFL regulations - and has already backed them to change as soon as possible. His comments were made after defender Raphael Varane posted a tweet criticising the changes.

Varane said: “From the managers and players, we have shared our concerns for many years now that there are too many games, the schedule is overcrowded, and it’s at a dangerous level for players' physical and mental well-being.

“Despite our previous feedback, they have now recommended for next season: longer games, more intensity, and less emotions to be shown by players. We just want to be in good condition on the pitch to give 100% to our club and fans. Why are our opinions not being heard?”

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