Can a Premier League match be delayed due to a team arriving late on the pitch due to some reasons within the team? If yes, for how long will the referee wait for the team to arrive?


1 Answer 1


This situation is described in Premier League Handbook 2016/17; Premier League Rules - Clubs: Operations - Section L: Fixtures - Kick-Off:

  • L.29. Each Club participating in a League Match shall adhere to the kick-off time and the Home Club shall report any delay to the Board together with any explanation therefor.
  • L.30. Any Club which without good reason causes to be delayed either the kick-off of a League Match from the time fixed or the re-start after the half-time interval:
    • L.30.1. shall on the first such occasion pay a fixed penalty of £5,000 if the delay does not exceed 15 minutes; and
    • L.30.2. shall on a second or subsequent occasion within two years of the first such occasion or if in any case the delay exceeds 15 minutes be dealt with under the provisions of Section W of these Rules (Disciplinary section, which currently has a long list of 82 rules).
  • I'm not sure this quite gets to the crux of the question due to the "without good reason" part of the rule; one of the most common reason for PL delays is traffic problems, which I imagine come under "good reason".
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 15:56
  • I'm sure in the context of an EPL game that has an average audience of 1 million TV viewers and an average attendance of 36 thousand spectators, traffic problems don't come under "good reason" (Unless you meant traffic accident of the club bus)
    – gdrt
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 16:12
  • None of the Saturday three o'clock kickoffs are televised live (legally mandated), and if there are traffic problems, it's likely the spectators are delayed as well. The decision in that case will be generally be made with police advice, so I'd very much say that counts as a "good reason" unless you can provide evidence otherwise.
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 18:43
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    The Premier League Board (and all other football competition administrators around the world for that matter) aren't a court - they aren't bound by precedents and objective tests, unless such a test is defined in their regulations. If they decide on a specific occasion that traffic delays constitute "good reason" in their collective opinion, there is no sanction. They're not then bound to consider them "good reason" on a subsequent occasion, or for another club with similar circumstances (although it is probably in their best interests to do so). Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 21:58

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