New rules over postponements could be introduced following north London Derby controversy

New rules over postponements could be introduced following north London Derby controversy

North London derby controversially postponed

The north London derby, due to take place on Sunday, was postponed due to Arsenal not having enough players to meet the criteria (13 outfield senior players and a goalkeeper), but because only one player was out with COVID, the decision prompted backlash across social media, with many accusing Arsenal of abusing the rules.

Tottenham themselves put out a statement, saying:

“The original intention of the guidance…was to deal with player availability directly affected by COVID cases, resulting in depleted squads that, when taken together with injuries, would result in the club being unable to field a team.

We do not believe it was the intent to deal with player availability unrelated to COVID.

We may now be seeing the unintended consequences of this rule.”

However, ahead of the Carabao Cup Semi-Final second leg against Liverpool, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hit back, saying:

“We didn’t have the players necessary to put a squad available to compete in a Premier League match, that is 100 per cent guaranteed.

This is a no-win situation. When we played the first three games of the season, when other teams were postponing matches, and we played and we tried tom play, we were killed. [People said] don’t be naive, if you have that many players out don’t play with your kids.

Now we postponed the match for all the right reasons, believe me, and as well you get those reactions. But I think they are normal.”

But, as a consequence of the controversy, could we see rule changes?

Rule changes in the works

Now, as per BBC Sport, rule changes could be on the way.

Simon Stone reports that:

“The Premier League is looking into changing its guidance around match postponements after criticism over the number of games being called off.”

And he adds that any news rules could come into effect by the 8th February, claiming that:

“There will not be enough time to implement changes for this weekend but when the Premier League resumes after its two-week winter break on 8 February, an agreement over amended guidance is likely to have been reached.”

Is this the right move for the Premier League?

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 22 41 56
2 Liverpool FC 21 37 45
3 Chelsea FC 23 28 44
4 West Ham United 22 11 37
5 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 20 3 32
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 20 2 31
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 21 0 29
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 21 -1 24
12 Southampton FC 21 -8 24
13 Aston Villa 20 -5 23
14 Brentford FC 21 -9 23
15 Leeds United 20 -15 22
16 Everton FC 19 -10 19
17 Watford FC 19 -14 14
18 Norwich City 21 -35 13
19 Newcastle United 20 -23 12
20 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Ward Prowse, James Southampton FC 6

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