At the current rate, 292 penalties will be awarded in the 20/21 season 2 weeks ago

At the current rate, 292 penalties will be awarded in the 20/21 season

Fill your FPL team with penalty takers

The new handball rule has thrown the game of football into chaos. By now we all just about understand the rule - any player defending their own goal who happens to brush the ball with their arm should be hung, drawn and quartered - but understanding the rule does not excuse it of its lunacy.

It's bullshit and it's ruining the spectacle of the Premier League.

(Yes, the threat of extinction for so many clubs lower down the pyramid is worse.)

This new rule, which has already caused six of the 20 penalties to be awarded this, has put the Premier League on course to see 280 penalties throughout the entire season.

A graphic shown on Sky Sports demonstrates the effects of the new rule.

Over the past five years, there has been an average of 94.4 penalties awarded per season, with a low of 6 and a high of 19 (last season) coming from handball.

This season, there have already been 20 penalties awarded in 28 games (26 shown on graphic which was broadcast before Fulham vs Aston Villa and Liverpool vs Arsenal.)


Six of those 20 penalties have resulted from handball, a much higher proportion than the average across the last five seasons and as many as the entirety of the 2017/18 season.

At this current rate, throughout the 380 match season, there will be a projected 292 penalties, with an estimated 88 resulting from handball.

That's almost three times as many penalties in total than the average across previous seasons, with more than four times the highest number resulting from handball in any of those seasons.

These numbers are of course just a projection, but if what we've seen in the first three weeks of the season are anything to go by - Ward, Dier, Maupay, all giving away penalties for offences that would have gone unpunished before this rule and definitely before VAR - seeing 300 penalties this season is not out of the question.

Now, it is worth noting that after this article was published, news broke that referees will be able to be more lenient with these decisions going forward, following this series of farcical decisions. How much will actually change remains to be seen.

The moral of the story is that everything we love will always die, and to fill your FPL team with penalty takers.