We are pleased to join with leading brain injury charity Headway in welcoming this month’s new rules on how Premier League football clubs deal with head injuries.
“We are pleased to see the football authorities have addressed the serious issue of concussion,” said Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway. “The measures announced are a significant step forward in the protection of footballers at all levels and therefore are warmly welcomed…The more we know about head and brain injury, the better we understand the risks of continuing to play competitive sport following a concussion.”
“It is vital that decisions regarding a player’s suitability to return to the field of play are made by independent doctors, with measures put in place to protect them against pressure from club staff or the players themselves.”
Overview of the new concussion rules
- A player suffering a head injury must now leave the pitch.
- Team managers or coaching staff will no longer decide if a player continues to play and the final decision will be with the club doctor.
- Home teams in the Premier League must now have a third “tunnel” doctor on match-days to support the work of the doctors for both sides.
- The “tunnel” doctor will serve as an extra pair of eyes to spot potential concussions and watch TV replays to see the severity of incidents.
- The FA, in conjunction with the Football League, PFA and LMA, is to launch a campaign aimed at making players and managers at all levels aware of the dangers of head injuries.
- The Premier League is to employ its own doctor to conduct research and liaise with all 20 club doctors in the league on key medical matters.
- All Premier League players are to undergo baseline neurological assessments as part of their annual medical check-up to help doctors measure their recovery time if they suffer a concussion.