Ahead of the new season kicking off at Bramall Lane on Saturday 4th August, please find below some key updates regarding rule changes and amendments that have been introduced ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
How to watch the EFL
Throughout the course of the 2018/19 season, Sky Sports will show 127 live Sky Bet EFL matches - including the drama of the Play-Offs in May.
Games will be shown regularly on Friday nights and Saturday evenings on Sky Sports Football - plus there will be more midweek matches than ever before.
Saturday's visit of Swansea is one of the 30 matches already announced in the first three months of the season.
Quest, the Discovery-owned free-to-air TV channel powered by Eurosport, is the new home of football highlights for the Sky Bet Championship, Sky Bet League One, Sky Bet League Two, Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy.
Kicking-off from the 2018/19 season, the four-year deal will see Quest provide 90 minutes of extensive match highlights, hosted by Colin Murray, in primetime at 9pm every Saturday night.
Quest is available across Freeview, Freesat, Sky, Virgin Media and BT TV and it was confirmed in July that the show will be available to watch in HD on Sky, Virgin and Freesat.
Alongside its comprehensive TV coverage, Quest aims to engage more fans than ever before with a dedicated social media show. EFL: The Reaction, whilst an interactive, fan-centric Facebook LIVE programme hosted by Colin Murray will broadcast at 6pm every Saturday on Quest's UK Facebook page.
Following iFollow's successful introduction in 2017/18 for supporters based overseas, enhancements are being introduced to the live streaming platform ahead of the start of the new campaign at no extra cost to viewers.
- International Season Pass - £110
- International Match Pass - £5
In a second development, and in what is a first for English football, some Sky Bet EFL matches will also be made available to watch to supporters within the UK and Ireland throughout the 2018/19 season via iFollow.
Access to domestic live streaming must be bought on a match-to-match basis at a cost of £10 per fixture.
This development has been made possible due to the new broadcast agreement with Sky which was agreed last year, whereby EFL Clubs have been granted the rights to stream games to a domestic audience, in addition to their followers overseas which has been available since the start of 2017/18.
EFL Clubs will be able to live-stream in the UK and Ireland any league match via their respective iFollow (or equivalent) service that takes place outside the blocked hours of 14.45-17.15 on Saturday afternoons and that is not broadcast live on Sky Sports. Fixtures taking place on Bank Holidays or Easter will be unavailable for streaming. Sky Sports will have the right to stream the same Championship fixtures to subscribers across their interactive and digital services.
Once again in 2018/19, the talkSPORT network will be the only place to hear 110 regular season EFL matches as well as the Play-Off Semi-Finals and Finals. The broadcaster also has the rights to air commentaries of up to 25 Carabao Cup fixtures per season, including the Final, and exclusive rights to the Checkatrade Trophy.
Locally, the Blades have agreed, in principal, a commentary deal with BBC Radio Sheffield.
In addition to matches being available to overseas viewers via the iFollow platform, EFL matches are also broadcast in over 150 territories around the world by international broadcasters.
BeIN Sports will be broadcasting live EFL coverage in the Middle East, as well as Australia and New Zealand, whilst Viacom 18 Media and ssports.com will be supplying match action from India and China, respectively.
In the United States, ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3 and BamTech will be covering all three divisions of the EFL, as the expansion of the English game to overseas audiences continues.
A full list of who has the rights where is available via www.efl.com/iFollow/international-broadcasters
Misconduct in the Technical Area
Changes have been made to the Code of Conduct which sets out the behaviours expected of occupants of the technical area and establishes how the match officials will implement the Code of Conduct in order to protect the reputation of the EFL and its competitions. The changes are outlined below.
Stage 1 warnings
- For any activity considered to be irresponsible behaviour the 4th official will advise the referee at an appropriate stoppage in the game. The referee will delay the re-start of the game and issue a formal Stage 1 warning to the person and show the yellow card.
- Irresponsible behaviour includes but is not limited to:
- Inappropriate language and / or gestures towards the match officials which are an obvious show of dissent or an attempt to influence the decisions of the match officials
- Kicking or throwing water bottles, coats or other similar objects in an obvious show of dissent
- Sarcastic clapping and / or other gestures intended to undermine the authority of the match officials
- Entering the opponents' technical area in an inappropriate manner
- Gesturing waving an imaginary yellow / red card
- Automatic suspensions for accumulating Stage 1 warnings in the technical area
- 4 warnings - 1 match ban
- 8 warnings - 2 match ban
- 12 warnings - 3 match ban
- 16+ - FA misconduct charge
- No cut-off date
Stage 2 (Misconduct Action):
Where a person either:
- continually fails to comply with the general requirements of the Code or displays further acts of irresponsible behaviour as outlined in Stage 1 above having in both cases received a formal Stage 1 warning from the referee or;
- commits a singular act of serious irresponsible behaviour that in the opinion of the 4th Official surpasses the requirement for a formal Stage 1 warning
The 4th official will advise the referee who, at an appropriate stoppage in play, will instruct the person to leave the technical area and go to the designated location identified by the Competition show a direct red card. If this occurs during half-time (or half-time in extra time) the person will be instructed not to return to the technical area.
The system will be adopted in all EFL competitions, including all three divisions of the Sky Bet EFL, the Carabao Cup and the Checkatrade Trophy.
Full details available via www.fa.com
The Code of Conduct now also permits the use of small hand-held electronic devices in the Technical Area. However, use of the devices will have been breached if managers or coaches are thought to have:
Received external communication which is used to discuss incidents with the match officials
Used communication devices for anything other than player welfare and/or tactical/coaching purposes
Used any technology other than small hand-held communication devices.
Following a decision of Clubs in February 2018, the Summer Transfer Window closes for permanent transfers on Thursday 9th August 2018 at 5pm. Clubs are still permitted to sign players on standard loan until 5pm on 31st August 2018. The January transfer window is unaffected.
Club Developed Players
A Club Developed Player is one who has been registered with an EFL Club for a minimum of 12 months prior to the end of his Under 19 Season.
From the start of the 2018/19 season, each EFL Club must include at least one Club Developed Player on a team sheet for each Sky Bet EFL Match (including Play Offs). This is in addition to the requirement for at least seven Home Grown Players in those matches. Where any club does not name a Club Developed Player on the team sheet, that Club will only be permitted to name up to six (rather than seven) substitutes on that team sheet.
The Club Developed and Home Grown Player requirements do not apply to Carabao Cup or Checkatrade Trophy Games.
Carabao Cup Rules
The following key changes have been made to Carabao Cup Rules:
- Removal of extra time in all rounds up to and including the semi-finals, with ties being decided on penalties. This includes the second leg of the semi-final, and the away goals rule will no longer apply.
- Clubs participating in the final will still be able to play a 4th substitute in extra time.
- Return to the traditional approach of 'ABAB' format for taking penalties.