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."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...