Premier League ‘powerless’ to stop infuriating trend of players and managers covering mouths when talking during matches
- Covering mouths with hands is growing trend, drawing criticism from fans
- Players often converse with opposition at full-time and secretively cover faces
- Broadcasters are yet to complain but Sky source said it has become ‘infuriating’
- Premier League privately believe there is very little they can do to stop it
The Premier League are ‘powerless’ to stop players and coaches putting their hands over their mouths when talking during matches.
In a growing trend that has drawn criticism from supporters and angered broadcasters who pay hundreds of millions to screen games, an increasing number of stars have started to cover their mouths to prevent what they are saying going public.
While it is understood broadcasters are yet to complain to the league, one Sky source told Sportsmail: ‘It’s infuriating. I would imagine conversations about it will take place soon because it’s angering more and more people.
Alexis Sanchez covers his mouth as he speaks to Romelu Lukaku on the pitch
Unai Emery disguises his insturctions as the Arsenal manager speaks to Aaron Ramsey
‘We pay around £13million a match and want to give the viewers the full experience. It’s blatant and it should stop. I can’t imagine we are missing out on life-changing pearls of wisdom but it is the principle. This is entertainment — imagine paying to go to the theatre and the actors start covering up their mouths.’
The Premier League declined to comment but privately they believe there is little they can do to stop the trend.
Within the rules of the game there is no law to stop players from covering their mouths. Insiders say the fact that the trend has now spread to managers makes intervention impossible.
‘It’s a situation in which we are pretty much powerless,’ a league source said. ‘Realistically there is nothing we can do — and now we have managers doing it, it makes it even harder.’
Ian Wright labelled the trend ‘annoying’ but there is very little the Premier League can do
It has been claimed that the reason for covering up is to stop tactical plans being seen by the opponents, but opposition players doing so while talking to each other at the end of games has become a common sight.
The matter was discussed on BBC Radio 5 Live earlier this week. ‘Barcelona players started it,’ said Arsenal legend Ian Wright, ‘it is so annoying’.
His comments were echoed by Wigan defender Alex Bruce. ‘It drives me mad,’ he said. ‘Players at the end of games talking to each other putting their hands over their mouths. What’s going on, lads?’
Broadcasters and supporters are annoyed at the growing trend in the Premier League