Player behaviour in the Premier League is improving insists Richard Scudamore


The behaviour of players in the Premier League is already improving, according to chief executive Richard Scudamore.

The positivity surrounding the Olympics has put the spotlight on football ahead of the start of the season this weekend, with many people comparing players unfavourably with their Olympic counterparts.

Scudamore believes football can certainly learn from the Games, and it is a debate that is going on within the sport as well, but he was keen to talk up the steps that have already been taken at the launch of the 21st Premier League season yesterday.

In 2008 the Premier League introduced the Get On With the Game initiative aimed at raising standards, and Scudamore said: "Behaviour has improved.

"When you talk to referees, definitely the relationship has improved, and player to player as well. But we have to carry on making not just incremental gains but seismic gains.

"It's about the fans as well. It's a tribal game but that cannot spill over. There are lines that have to be drawn.

"Among the senior players especially there's a genuine understanding and concern about these issues. I'm certain improvements will be seen."

Scudamore anticipated the backlash against football which has followed the Olympics and the issue was addressed with Premier League captains 12 months ago.

Last season certainly did not show footballers in the best light at times, though, particularly the racism rows centring on Luis Suarez and John Terry.

Liverpool striker Suarez served an eight-match ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra while Chelsea and former England captain Terry was charged by police with racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. He was found not guilty after a trial, but could yet face sanction from the Football Association.

Scudamore said: "In a sense that's the game working. It was dealt with properly, punishment was served.

"If players entirely behaved themselves and never fouled anybody, you wouldn't need referees, you wouldn't need red cards or disciplinary systems.

"It's a gladiatorial contest. The Premier League is so successful around the world because people think they're going to be watching 380 contests. Therefore sometimes that will spill over. But it's catered for in the rules."

One thing Scudamore has no doubt about is that the Premier League will continue to capture people's imaginations around the world when the season starts tomorrow.

He added: "It will have its critics, but it will have more people following it, there'll be more debate in workplaces on Monday morning, and it'll be football again.

"The test will come on a cold February weekend, how many people are talking about Premier League football and how many people are talking about one of the more remote medal performances from the Games."


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam