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An analysis of Premier League fines against Crystal Palace FC for delays in taking to pitch

Football Stadium Corridor
Friday, 18 August 2023 By Alistair McHenry

This article looks at the decision and reasons of a Premier League Independent Disciplinary Commission (“Commission”) to fine Crystal Palace FC (“CPFC”) for two breaches of Premier League Rule L.311 (“Decision”).

PL Rule L.31 deals with delay and states:

Any Club which without good reason causes to be delayed either the kick-off of a League Match…or the re-start after the half-time interval shall be dealt with under the provisions of section W of these Rules (Disciplinary).

In the course of its submissions, the PL explained that the purpose of L.31 is to protect the revenue derived from television advertising during broadcasted matches and that returning promptly after half time “is crucial for the scheduling of the broadcast both domestically and in conjunction with international broadcasters to whom the live broadcast is distributed”. If delayed returns are persistent and remain unchecked, then that “would threaten its relationships with its broadcasting partners and, in turn, the PL’s ability to monetise the rights…”

The PL charged CPFC by way of a Complaint dated 22 December 2022 (“Complaint”) which alleged that CPFC had breached PL Rule L.31 in the following ways:

  • Without good reason caused a delay of 1 minute, 21 seconds to the re-start after the half time interval in the PL fixture against Chelsea on 1 October 2022; and

  • Without good reason caused a delay of 1 minute, 17 seconds to the restart after the half time in the PL fixture against Leeds United on 9 October 2022.

The decision is available here2.

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Written by

Alistair McHenry

Alistair McHenry

Alistair is a Partner at Head of Sport at Tyr.

Alistair has over 13 years of experience in sports law with a particular focus on dispute resolution, contentious regulatory work and arbitrations.  He acts for governing bodies, clubs, players, athletes and other sports professionals on a wide variety of contentious issues.

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