Premier League football supporters are witnessing less action on the pitch than ever before in the English top flight. As teams are wasting time each week with referees adding an insufficient number of minutes for stoppage time.
Managers across the division want the Premier League’s hierarchy to stop players from wasting time during games. Moreover, the lack of on-pitch action is preventing fans from getting their money’s worth whether they watch the matches live in stadiums or on television.
Premier League fans are anticipating the upcoming Arsenal versus Manchester United fixture. The Red Devils have a chance to stop Arsenal from winning the Premier League. Fans can use the latest Ladbrokes promo code to wager on the match and pick the team they believe will win.
FIFA is considering ways to make football more competitive, draw more fans, and reduce time wasting by changing the laws of the game. One potential change to the laws of the game is to change the time of matches to 60 minutes with a clock that counts down to zero and stops when the ball goes out of play or a foul is committed. The rule would leave many traditional football fans feeling like the game had become too Americanised.
Opta, a leading football data analysis firm, has released information on the length of Premier League matches. The league’s games are lasting longer than ever before. However, the ball is in play less than in any previous Premier League campaign.
Opta began keeping data on the Premier League 11 seasons ago. Since data began being recorded, Premier League matches in 2022-23 have averaged 98 minutes and six seconds in length. It is the longest game in Opta’s 11-year history of keeping data on the league. However, Opta has found that matches have only been in play for 54 minutes and 53 seconds this season. It is the shortest amount of time the ball has been in play throughout the last 11 seasons. Football fans only see the ball in play for 559% of games in the Premier League.
Officials from the Premier League have resisted placing stronger controls on time wasting. The 2022 FIFA World Cup cracked down on time wasting, adding vast swaths of time to matches. The added time was popular with fans and provided drama to matches. However, it was often criticized by pundits. There are some expectations that the Premier League could make adjustments to time wasting rules in the offseason rather than implementing them halfway through the campaign.
Although this season has seen the lowest total minutes with the ball in play in the league for the last 11 campaigns, Opta’s stats show that Premier League games have never averaged over 58% of matches seeing action. Time Wasting is not a new issue. The highest average of the ball being in play over the last 11 seasons was in 2013-14 when the match had 58.7% of action. That is just 2.8% more of the ball being in play.
One of the biggest time wasters in the Premier League this season is Newcastle United. The Magpies’ matches have averaged just 51 minutes and 36 seconds. Leeds United are the biggest time waster, however. The Whites’ games average a mere 50 minutes and 56 seconds.