Why Premier League managers are doing half-time interviews this season

Viewers of Crystal Palace v Arsenal on Friday night might have spotted a strange new element in the broadcast.

Before the second half, Patrick Vieira took part in a brief interview on Sky Sports.

Athleticism explained what the rules are and if it will be common in the future.


Why was it important?

Previously, managers were required to take part in a pre-match and post-match interview with broadcasters during Premier League matches.

However, it was the first time a half-time flash interview had been done during a Premier League match.

This could see managers discussing significant incidents or other game elements in a game going forward.

How it works?

UK broadcasters may request a manager to give an interview at the end of half-time.

The decision of whether or not a coach participates in a half-time flash interview should be mutually agreed between a broadcaster and the club.

There is no obligation for a manager to participate.

A manager will then carry out a quick interview. They will answer a few questions from an interviewer about the progress of the game and the rest of the game.

It can be common or infrequent. It all depends on what the clubs, broadcasters and managers themselves want.

When was this agreed and what do the rules say?

Changes to Premier League rules have taken place this summer which have been added to section K of the league handbook.

The relevant section reads: “For each league match to be shown live by a UK broadcaster, the UK broadcaster may request that the manager (or a senior member of the coaching staff) of one or each participating club grants an interview at the end of half-time, before the resumption of the league match.

“The manager may choose to grant the requested interview or refuse to do so, at his sole discretion.”

What else has changed in the Premier League this season?

Ahead of Crystal Palace’s game against Arsenal, one thing to note was the return of the pre-match handshake. Premier League COVID-19 protocols had seen this ritual penned.

Another change to be implemented before kick-off is that players and coaching staff will no longer take the knee before every game.

It will instead take place during select matches, including the first round of matches, Boxing Day matches and No Room for Racism matches in October and March. Players will also take the knee on the final day of the season and ahead of the League Cup and FA Cup finals.

The Premier League has also been working with referees to try to improve ball play time during matches. They have derived a new multi-ball system which they hope will combat the problem. A match ball will be with the fourth official and there will be eight replacement match balls scattered around the pitch.

There has also been a change in the rules regarding penalties and the position of the goalkeeper.

The goalkeeper must have “at least part of a foot touching, or aligned with or behind the goal line” when the ball is kicked. This wording has been clarified to prevent the goalkeeper from being penalized.

This season will also see the permanent return of five replacements.

Nothing else?

Plenty. For more on the changes to the Premier League this season, Athleticism Dan Sheldon took a deeper look.

(Top photo: Getty Images)

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