Sheffield United: Here’s the seven new Premier League rule changes coming in next season

Sheffield United will be taking part in their first Premier League campaign for 12 years next season, and they’ll need to familiarise themselves with the seven new rule changes coming into place.

Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 10:50 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 10:50 am
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Drop balls

Rather than the traditional, one vs. one square off for a drop ball, the last team to touch the ball will have the ball returned to them by the referee.

This will eliminate a current issue, where a non-contested drop ball is often lumped out for a throw-in deep in the opposition half.

Free-kick walls

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No more cheekiness from attackers! From now on, only opposition players can form a defensive wall (of three or more players) at a free-kick.

This will stop the goalkeeper’s view being obstructed, and cut out the problem of defenders being jostled out of position by their opponents.

Goalkeeper penalty antics

Cheeky ‘keepers are getting clamped down on too, it appears. No more lurking behind the line and lurching forward, no more pummelling the crossbar in an intimidatory more ‘movement’ at all, say the rules.

In all honesty, though, are the referees really going to enforce it? Goalies always need to keep one foot on the line, too. VAR will have an absolute field day.


From next season on, goal-kicks are deemed to be ‘in play’ as soon as they’ve left the goalkeeper’s boot.

It used to be the case that play wouldn’t be deemed active until the ball left the penalty area. This should, in theory, speed up the game, as ‘keepers can pass to teammates in the box, and launch their attack from deep.


The days of lapping up the applause and wasting precious time are over. Now, players will have to leave the pitch at the closest point to them.

Still, you can bet your bottom dollar there’ll still be exiting the field at a glacial pace to run down the clock, no matter how close to the touchline.

Accidental Handballs

Simple one, this, and it makes sense. If a goal is scored directly via an accidental handball, or the player providing the assist accidentally handballs in the build-up, the goal will be ruled out.

VAR celebrations

This one is pretty brutal. Rubbing salt in the wound, if you score a goal and, for example, whip your shirt off or leap into the crowd, those bookable offences will still be punished, even if your effort is ruled off by VAR.