New Champions League rule that will affect Chelsea, Arsenal and Man United revealed

European football governing body, UEFA, has introduced new rules that will affect Premier League teams like Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United and how they qualify for the Champions League.

One of the many alterations which has recently come into play is that whoever finishes fourth in the Premier League no longer has to face a pre-qualifier in August and thus will not have to add extra matches to their already busy schedule at the beginning of a season.

Chelsea finished fourth in the Premier League last season so are featuring in this season’s Champions League. The new rule will affect them if they finish fourth again this season.

This rule should serve as a timely incentive for Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United who have all finished fourth in the Premier League in recent seasons.

And there are also some changes which might have gone under the radar.

Here is a reminder of the nine Champions League rule changes which will affect Chelsea, Spurs, Manchester City and Liverpool this season.


Just like in last season’s Champions League final, teams will be allowed to name 12 substitutes for Champions League matches.

However, only three will still be allowed to be used, unless a game goes to extra-time where a fourth becomes available.


The next change is also coming to the Premier League and it will see attacking players stopped from impacting the defensive free-kick wall.

Attackers will have to be at least one metre away from the wall this season.

Mason Mount takes a free kick during (Image: Michael Regan/Getty Images)


Arsenal finished fifth last season in the Premier League and failed to qualify for the Champions League but had finished in the top four in previous seasons and should they finish fourth next season, the new rule will apply to them.

Goal-kicks and free-kicks inside your box don’t have to leave the penalty area from this season. It must be mentioned that the opposition is still not allowed to be inside the penalty box.


Drop balls will be allowed to be given straight to the keeper from this season. Players will have to be four metres away and the ball will be dropped for the team which last touched it.


Penalty changes will see keepers forced to have one foot on the goal-line when a spot-kick is taken. They will also not be able to touch the goalpost.

Departing the field

Manchester United finished a disappointing sixth last season despite coming close to finishing fourth. However, the nee UEFA rule will apply to them if they finish fourth this season.

Similar to Premier League changes, a player who has been substituted must leave the pitch at the nearest point on the field.

Coin toss

Whoever wins the toss will now have the choice to kick-off or pick which end they will play from.

Manager cards

Another change similar to the Premier League is one that sees coaches and managers handed yellow and red cards for different levels of misconduct.


If an attacking player uses their hand or arm to either score or create a goal then it will be wiped out and labelled a handball offence.