The EFL will pilot an Ifab (international football association board) developed scheme that will see managers in the top four divisions of English football, as well as the Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy, receive red and yellow cards this season in a bid to clean up touchline behaviour.
Managers will receive yellow cards for incidents such as kicking a water bottle, sarcastic clapping or any other gesture that could be considered as attempting to undermine the match official. A red card would be handed out for actions such as violent conduct, spitting and stopping the opponent restarting play. If a manager accumulates four yellow cards, they would receive a one-match ban, eight a two-match ban, 12 a three-match ban and 16 would result in them going to Wembley to sit in front of a Football Association disciplinary panel. Subsequent fines, if deemed relevant, will be determined by the FA.
“If the behaviour of any one of the members on the bench, usually led by the manager, gets to the level where it’s not appropriate, as like a caution on the pitch, the referee will issue a yellow card to the bench,” said the EFL chief executive, Shaun Harvey. “If the behaviour continues in a manner that he doesn’t feel appropriate – effectively like a totting up of a number of fouls – then there’s the opportunity for a second yellow card to be issued at which stage the manager leaves the bench area. If there’s a serious incident deemed by the match official, the manager will be shown a red card and go to the stands. It will hopefully improve behaviour in the technical areas.”
Ifab have said that the experiment was designed to take disciplinary action against persistent offenders. The measures will be introduced from Friday, the Championship opener, in which Reading take on Derby County, with the aim of improving behaviour, while there are long-term hopes that the scheme may also be adopted in the Premier League.