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Football Disciplinary Update: Yellow and red cards to be issued to managers from 2018/19

31 July 2018

From the start of the 2018/19 season, yellow and red cards will be issued by match officials for misconduct committed in the technical area during English Football League fixtures and cup competitions.

This trial follows a review by the English game’s stakeholders of the pre-existing Technical Area Code of Conduct, which was established in 2015 and sets out the behaviours expected of occupants of the technical area and establishes how the match officials will implement the Code.

Disciplinary action will now be taken for accumulated Stage 1 Warnings for technical area occupants in the following EFL competitions:

  • Sky Bet EFL
  • Carabao Cup
  • Checkatrade Trophy

This is similar to the current system that operates for players with automatic touchline bans imposed for accumulated yellow cards. However, unlike accumulated player cautions, there is no cut-off date for yellow cards issued for technical area misconduct.

An automatic suspension will be triggered when an individual reaches the following thresholds — please note Sky Bet Play-Off Matches in the EFL shall be exempt from any automatic period of suspension arising from an accumulation of Stage 1 Warnings by technical area occupants.

Number of Stage 1 Warnings Suspension [to commence with immediate effect]
4 – 1 match
8 – 2 matches
12 – 3 matches
16 – Misconduct Charge (sanction to be determined by a Regulatory Commission)

Unlike for players, cards accumulated by managers will count towards all EFL competitions; therefore any cautions received in the Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy will carry forward into the Sky Bet EFL, and vice versa.

What is a Stage 1 Warning?

As outlined in the Technical Area Code of Conduct, for any activity considered to be irresponsible the Match Referee has the authority to issue a formal warning to the individual concerned.

Irresponsible behaviour includes but is not limited to:

  • Inappropriate language and / or gestures towards the match officials which are an obvious show of dissent or an attempt to influence the decisions of the match officials
  • Kicking or throwing water bottles, coats or other similar objects in an obvious show of dissent
  • Sarcastic clapping and / or other gestures intended to undermine the authority of the match officials
  • Entering the opponents’ technical area in an inappropriate manner
  • Gesturing waving an imaginary yellow / red card

The formal warnings are reported to The FA using the same process as player cautions and dismissals.

Speaking at the EFL Season Launch, EFL Chief Executive Shaun Harvey said: “We're trying to let fans know what is going on. If a manager or member of staff acts in a way the officials deem unacceptable, they will be able to show a red or yellow card – the same way we see with players on the pitch.”

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