Significant changes to rules often claim early season victims as Sheffield Wednesday midfielder David Jones discovered at the weekend.
Summer signing Jones was sent off in the 1-1 draw with Brentford after picking up two bookings, the second for dissent which will be more harshly punished this season.
Brentford goalscorer Lasse Vibe also saw red late on after picking up a booking for dissent earlier in the game.
Referees have this season been urged to take a stronger stand on ‘intolerable behaviour’ by players in a bid to reduce what has been termed ‘disrespectful conduct such as aggressively challenging decisions or running from distance to confront an official.’
Running to contest decisions, ‘visibly disrespectful’ actions and arguing with officials will be met with a yellow card while confronting officials with insulting and offensive language or gestures will see a straight red issued.
Changes in player behaviour will not happen overnight and Jones is unlikely to be among the last crop to fall foul of the tougher stance on dissent.
But Jones’ dismissal should be taken as a warning for the rest of the Wednesday squad according to Owls team mate Tom Lees.
“We have got to take that forward for the rest of the season and remember,” Lees said.
“Obviously they’re trying to kick it out all across the league.
“I’ve seen some things playing football over the years where refs are getting absolutely pelted for the whole 90 minutes.
“I don’t even think this thing [Jones’ sending off] was a passing comment. It was just a flick of the arm and the ref’s got to do what he’s got to do.
“He said he’s got no choice and I thought we reacted to it well.”
Lees defended ‘nice guy’ Jones over the incident.
And he believes the former Burnley man suffered due to a zero tolerance approach rather than as a result of abuse.
“I was quite close to it, I don’t think David did too much,” Lees said.
“The one thing I will say is that he didn’t run over to get involved. He didn’t come from a distance, he didn’t say anything too bad I though.
“It must be the fact’s zero tolerance on anything like that.
“David is the nicest guy you’ll ever meet, the most soft-spoken guy you’ll ever meet.
“It’s totally out of character even if he did say something to the referee – though I’m not sure he did.
“We just got to accept that these are the new rules and learn from it.”