Premier League chief threatens 'more yellow and red cards' if player behaviour doesn't improve

Premier League chief threatens 'more yellow and red cards' if player behaviour doesn't improve

The Premier League, Football Association and English Football League are seeking to address indiscipline in the game by reinforcing laws.

The grassroots-to-elite initiative is unnamed, but has been a topic of discussions for a year and has support from the Professional Football Association and the League Managers' Association.

Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore said: "We're looking to make a step change in the way our participants behave and how they are seen around the world.

"This is about players, about managers, and about referees.

"It starts with applying the laws of the game. There is no law change. The laws of the game allow for this to be managed."

Scudamore, who revealed the Premier League will for the first time meet all clubs prior to the season starting, added: "If participant behaviour doesn't improve, then there will be more yellow and red cards.

"The game has put a huge effort into education, to try to ensure we don't have this extra spate of yellow and red cards.

"But the game is prepared if we have them. The clubs are committed and we are committed to see this through."

English Football League chief executive Shaun Harvey added: "We believe that this initiative, which is essentially us, the football family, demonstrating support for match officials... will help protect and enhance the image of our game."

Harvey also announced that Championship clubs have agreed to make a contribution to ensure full-time officials operate in the second tier.

Scenes of players, coaches and managers surrounding match officials, including physical contact, yelling abuse and poor conduct in technical areas in elite matches can be copied in age-group football.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn said: "That mimicry factor, the poor behaviour is picked up. We all believe we've got a responsibility for promoting the game in its wider sense."

Incidents which have shown the need for the whole-game approach include Leicester striker Jamie Vardy abusing referee Jonathan Moss in April and the fracas in May's Chelsea-Tottenham clash at Stamford Bridge.

It is possible there could be a large number of yellow and red cards early in the season.

Referees' chief Mike Riley said: "Where you've seen similar re-calibrations in the past, it takes a while for people to adjust."

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