1. Goalkeepers should only be allowed four steps once they are in possession of the ball, even after they have started to play the ball with their feet. Failure to do so would result in a direct free-kick, which being close to the goal would increase the possibility of more goals and certainly more excitement.

  2. Players who implore referees to book opponents should receive a caution themselves. This punishment could reduce the pressure being applied to officials during the game.

  3. Make shielding the ball out of play an offence resulting in an indirect free-kick for obstruction. The player shielding the ball has no intention of playing it and is merely interested in preventing the opponent reaching the ball. This would be construed as obstruction anywhere else on the pitch, so why not near their own goal. Players only get frustrated by this practice and end up bundling the defender over the touchline, so it could reduce friction in that respect too.

  4. If a team in the relegation places come the end of the season has beaten another side home and away during the season, they can swap places with them. This has an air of natural justice, as if one team who is safe cannot beat one of the bottom sides, they deserve to go down. It would also mean an end to meaningless mid-table games as every game becomes a relegation decider. Should one of the clubs in the drop zone have done the double over more than one side, they have the choice of who goes down.

  5. On transfer deadline day, each club must nominate two players to go on loan and then a FA Cup style draw would take place using wooden balls and two velvet bags would be undertaken to determine which player will play at which club for the remainder of the season. (i.e. Player Number 47 ... Teddy Sheringham will play for ... Team number 23 ... Northampton Town.)

  6. Every time the ball goes out of play, ball-boys around the pitch will return a ball to the player immediately to reduce the amount of time lost while the ball is in the crowd. The only thing about this idea that is different to that already in place in the Champions League, is that every ball held by the ball-boys will be different. There will be one big ball, one small one, one light, one heavy and one wobbly one like the Harlem Globetrotters use.

    Man United exhibit their big ball 
    for their next campaign.


  7. The area within the goal (behind the goal-line) should be filled with plasticine, like a long-jump take-off board. In the event of a Geoff Hurst style World Cup Final goal, this would bear an imprint of the ball and resolve any argument as to whether the ball was over the line or not. It would also provide lots of fun when goalkeepers and players got stuck in the stuff !!

  8. Coat goalposts with highly elastic rubber solution. This would cause hilarious consequences when the ball would rebound at great speeds as it cannoned off the woodwork, or rubberwork, as it would henceforth be known.

  9. Referees should have a radio link with coverage of the match to receive expert opinion from summarisers about major incidents in the match. It works for cricket and who knows better than the men who are paid a fortune already to state the obvious.

  10. Appoint a panel of European players to award merit marks for artistic impression for dives by players trying to gain free-kicks. In the event of a draw the team with the highest total would get the three points even though some of their players may have been booked or sent off for attempting to hood-wink the referee, then it would be up to a coach to play the percentage game on whether to risk men being dismissed or to go for the merit marks.

I think you will agree, that should all or any of these ideas be implemented, the game would be a whole lot more enjoyable.

Theo Wreticle.

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