Credit: Twitter

Credit: Twitter

Many new rules are being implemented in the Premier League this season, which will lead to longer games and more exhaustion for the players on an already crammed schedule. The new rules are supposed to curb time-wasting and Raphael Varane has sent a strong message to the FA on behalf of the players, saying their opinions are not being heard.

The referees are instructed to be more sensitive towards offenses, with yellow cards now being handed out like candy. One could see that in the Community Shield final between Arsenal and Manchester City itself, with a yellow card given to Gunners manager Mikel Arteta for a minor dissent.

In a long X post, Varane wrote that a meeting was held with the FA last week, where new rules were recommended to referees to exercise this season. The United defender heavily criticized the changes that have come in and believes they are "damaging" the game. He addressed the issue of too many games in the schedule, which leads to more injuries and has been highlighted by many players, fans, and pundits for many years now.

Varane wrote, "From the managers and players, we have shared our concerns for many years now that there are too many games, the schedule is overcrowded, and it’s at a dangerous level for players' physical and mental well-being. Despite our previous feedback, they have now recommended for next season: longer games, more intensity, and less emotions to be shown by players.”

He further expressed his opinion that these changes were ‘damaging to the game and that the players’ opinions weren’t being heard. The 30-year-old wrote, “We just want to be in good condition on the pitch to give 100% to our club and fans. Why are our opinions not being heard? As a player, I feel very privileged to do the job I love every day but I feel these changes are damaging our game. We want to be at our maximum level, the best we can be, and put on amazing performances for fans to celebrate every week.”

After Manchester City conceded a 101st-minute equalizer against Arsenal in the Community Shield, Pep Guardiola also criticized the changes. In his post-game presser on Sunday, Guardiola emphasized his frustration. "If the new regulations are continued," he joked, "matches will go on till the next morning." Varane's position is supported by former United defender Ferdinand, who also urges all parties to reach a resolution through negotiation.

From the 2024/25 season, the UEFA Champions League will move to the "Swiss model", a new system designed to increase the drama, the number of teams involved to 36. It is widely believed to be for more revenue generation while compromising players’ fitness and is heavily criticised.