Premier League ball-in-play figures revealed after major rule change was introduced to crack down on time-wasting | The Sun

PREMIER LEAGUE games have seen an increase in the amount of ball-in-play time following new rules designed to crack down on timewasting.

Ifab have introduced rules which has seen officials add on extra time for goal celebrations, substitutions, injuries, penalties and red cards.

This has had a significant effect on matches across the EFL and in the top tier, with few games lasting less than 100 minutes as a result of the changes.

It has also increased the amount of time the ball is in play, with an average rise of almost four minutes so far this season.

That is a big improvement, particularly as matches have only lasted, on average, three minutes longer than they did last season.

Last season saw the most average game time [98.27] but the least average ball-in-play time [54.52] of any Prem season in the last 10 years.


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Now ball-in-play time is at an average of 58.42 and is likely to improve further as fewer players attempt to waste time – as they know it will be added on at the end of the match.

There has also been an improvement in ball-in-play time in all three EFL divisions, with League Two seeing the highest increase at eight minutes.

However it remains the division with the least amount of ball-in-play time, though is now only half a minute behind League One, with 56.04 minutes of ball time compared to 56.56.

New disciplinary rules have also been introduced to clamp down on “unacceptable conduct on the pitch, on the sidelines and in the stands”.

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There has also been a clamp down on player and manager disciplineCredit: Getty


The Premier League and EFL are keen to give match officials greater protection – to prevent managers and players trying to intimidate and influence decisions.

Under the new regulations, all club technical staff, including managers and assistants, must sign up to a “code of conduct” – which has been approved by the League Managers Association.

The rules have already seen players in the Championship and League One sent off for dissent.

While Bolton boss Ian Evatt and Leyton Orient gaffer Richie Wellens were also red-carded in mid-week after confronting the referee.

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