Premier League 2019 / 2020 Rule Changes

The Premier League has recently announced a new rule change that is to take effect from the upcoming 2019/2020 season, which commences on the 9thAugust.

In previous seasons, clubs that finished level on the same amount of points would be differed by their overall goal difference.

 If the goal difference was also equal then it would come down to which side scored the most goals. 

If the goals scored were also identical, then a one off play-off match, at a neutral venue would be staged, to determine the final positions. 

Now the Premier League will use the head-to-head results from the affected clubs to determine the final positions in the league. 

The team which collected the most points in the head-to-head matches between the sides sitting level on points, goal difference and goals scored will take the highest final position and the team with the fewest, taking the lower final position.

If the clubs can still not be separated, the team with the most away goals in the head-to-head fixtures will take the higher finishing positon.

If everything is still level, after everything is taking into account, then a one off play-off match, at a neutral venue would be staged, to determine the final positions.

Another change this season will see the implementation of the video assistant referee, otherwise known as VAR.

The Premier League have already set out VAR guidelines ahead of the season as they bid to both avoid any over-reliance on the technology, and minimise any disruption caused by the technology during fixtures.

Offsides will be checked on every occasion, and even if the striker has the slightest of their foot, or toe, ahead of the last defender, the end result will be ruled as offside.

Red cards will only be checked on VAR if the on field referee has made a clear and obvious error, or has dismissed the wrong player in error.

Any goal scored, or created through a handball, whether it is deliberate, or accidental, will result in the goal being disallowed. 

Yellow or red cards that are issued for overzealous goal celebrations, such as removing the shirt, won’t be overturned or rescinded if the goal is ultimately ruled out by VAR.

Pitch side monitors will only be used in exceptional circumstances, as reviews can be lengthy, and supporters in the stadium are often unaware of what is happening. 

Additionally the Premier League has also made some other minor changes to the rule book ahead of the new season.


A player who is substituted must leave the field of play by the nearest point on the touchline or goal line. This is an attempt to avoid player’s time wasting by leaving the field slowly.

Kick Off

The team that wins the coin toss can now choose whether to take the kick-off or which goal to attack first. In previous seasons they only had the choice of which goal to attack.

Drop Ball

Instead of a drop ball, the team which last touched the ball will receive possession. If the play is stopped inside the penalty box, the match will resume with the goalkeeper. 

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