Every Premier League rule and law change for 2019/20 explained - and how that will impact on Newcastle United

The Premier League are implementing a whole host of new rules for 2019/20.

Wednesday, 12th June 2019, 10:45 am
Updated Friday, 14th June 2019, 9:19 pm
A number of new law changes are coming into play for the 2019/20 Premier League season.

Here's your rundown on what's new and how it will impact on Newcastle United next season.

Introduction of VAR

VAR will be used in the Premier League for the first time next season.

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NICE, FRANCE - JUNE 09: The giant screen shows a VAR message as a penalty is reviewed during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France group D match between England and Scotland at Stade de Nice on June 9, 2019 in Nice, France. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

This rule adjustment was confirmed back in November, coming into force from the opening weekend of fixtures.

The system aims to aid referees and eliminate errors in making decisions on goals and incidents leading to them, penalties, red cards and mistaken identity.

Decisions can be changed only if there has been a clear error made by the referee, with officials able to request to see the video replay again themselves.

The system has been a controversial introduction, with many current and past players being openly critical of the roll out.

Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez, who may well leave the Magpies this summer, is an advocate of it's introduction.

After a late draw at Wolves, in which two decisions went against his side, Benitez said: "We need VAR right now. It's so obvious - the red card and the elbow in the face of Ayoze Perez. We need the VAR right now."

VAR, first used in the 2018 World Cup, was trialled in the FA Cup and League Cup last season.


In order to prevent time-wasting, any player substituted will have to leave the pitch at the nearest point.

That would mean a full-back should walk straight off on the other side, rather than trudge across the pitch, and the same can be said of an attacker at a corner - they should walk off at the closest touchline.

Last season players would have to walk to the half-way line and swap with the incoming player. That is no longer the case - the rule is aimed to save time on substitutions, often used by players and managers to waste a few valuable seconds.


Goalkeepers must have one boot touching the line, but cannot stand behind it, or obviously in front of it, when the penalty is taken.

Feigning movement one way or the other is also outlawed - which in practice will be very difficult to enforce.

This rule change is designed to prevent keepers stepping too far out, before a kick is taken.

For referees this could prove to be very problematic, with movement common place with keepers at spot-kicks.

Accidental handball

Any goal scored via the arm, whether intentional or accidental, will be ruled out. This also counts for the ball touching an attacking player's arm in the run up to a goal.

This does not include defender's in their own box - this will have to be a decision taken by the referee, and VAR, if needed, to decide whether said handball was intentional or not.

So in essence, this remains a slight grey area. It will still be a referee's call as to whether a defender's handball was intentional.

Goal kicks

Defenders can now collect the ball from the keeper inside their own area, with the ball being classed as live from the moment it is kicked. This WILL NOT result in an indirect free-kick, as per previous laws.


This one is more of an adjustment to deal with the introduction of VAR.

Players will still be booked for an over-exuberant celebration - taking short off, or jumping into the crowd, etc - even if a goal is ruled out after use of VAR.

Drop balls

This one of the bigger changes in the rulebook - the drop ball rule has been scratched altogether.

Now when a drop ball would have previously been awarded, the side who last had the ball will get possession.

Also, if play is stopped by the referee with the ball in either area, it will restart with the goalkeeper.

Defensive wall

If there are more than three players in a defensive wall, no player from the side with the ball are not allowed within one yard of the wall.

Again, the pressures of Premier League football, could make this one a very difficult one for referees to bring into practice.

Kick off times

Kick-off times can be unpredictable at the best of times but next season there's one more added into the equation.

A number of Premier League games will be shown 7:45pm on a Saturday evening.

Some games this season have been shown at that time previously due to fixture congestion, but this slot is a permanent fixture for 2019/20.

Oversees officials

For the first time this season, the Premier League could have an oversees official.

Australian Jarred Gillett is set to be in the select group 2, meaning he will officiate in the Championship but could be promoted, as has happened in the past.

Gillett is a former A-League referee, who has emigrated from down under this summer.

TV deals

BT are showing 32 matches on Saturdays at 12:30pm with Sky showing 32 games at 5:30pm.

Amazon Prime are new to the market, and will show all matches on Boxing Day this time around.

BT Sport will show 52 live matches, with 112 remaining with Sky. Amazon have snapped up 20 matches for next season.