Premier League announce new rule this season that concussed players

The Premier League have introduced a new set of rules to address the issue of concussion in football that include the specific stipulation that managers must now defer to the club team doctor in deciding whether a player stays on the pitch.

An additional tunnel doctor will also be mandatory at every Premier League fixture to assist and liaise with the team medics, while every player will also be encouraged to take a yearly neuro-psychological test to assess their “baseline” functioning.

Medics and doctors will also all carry a ‘concussion recognition tool’ that will be provided to all clubs and contains key advice and guidance on assessing concussion. It is a medical condition that is particularly difficult to diagnose and which may only produce clear symptoms several days after the incident. “We must overcome the idea that it is brave or heroic to play on and accept that this is an injury that cannot be run off,” said Gary O’Driscoll, who is the Arsenal club doctor and also the chairman of the Premier League club doctors’ group.

The clear advice will be that doctors should insist to substitute even if the concussion is suspected and not confirmed. The new rules will also apply to academy matches.

The Premier League have also created a new ‘medical advisor’ position for the league, while the Football Association have today launched a concussion awareness campaign that contains video messages from the England squad.

No change for the offside rule for 2014!