With the new season upon us, it’s time to examine what we learned in 2016, as we continue to dig into the past.
1/11 Who was the man who said the new rules were an ‘epic mistake’?
The most controversial move to date came in the form of the introduction of the new medicinal protocol in the UEFA Champions League, as it was criticised by the medical fraternity and some football officials.
The ‘New Protocol’ was an attempt to make the whole game more attractive to young players and the clubs, and it was a way to boost the clubs’ finances.
The medical fraternity, in particular, was extremely critical of the decision.
It was said to be ‘anti-medical’, and there was also a huge backlash among the medical community.
As a result, the introduction was dropped for this season.
However, it wasn’t the last time that a controversial decision was made in the Champions League.
2/11 What is the new ‘medicine protocol’ and why is it controversial?
‘The new medical protocol’ is a proposed and implemented way to make up for the fact that footballers are not getting the best medical care.
It’s aimed at improving the ‘cure’ for injuries and sickness and has the aim of increasing the number of ‘medical practitioners’ who can give advice on injury prevention, management and treatment.
As such, it is intended to provide better quality care for footballers.
However critics claim it’s a step backwards and the proposed protocol is far too restrictive.
It would also require the players to wear a brace to protect them from neck or back injuries and would see players have to be monitored in case of any serious illness.
In addition, the protocol will also see players be required to stay up to date on their medical treatment options, which is expected to cost up to €5 million.
It is claimed that the new medical procedure will help reduce the amount of ‘pain’ and ‘distress’ for the players, as they will be given a much more positive outlook on their footballing careers.
3/11 The ‘medical experts’ don’t agree, but what can be done?
The new protocol has been brought in after extensive scientific research and consultation.
The UEFA medical experts concluded that the protocols introduction in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions Leagues was not the correct way forward.
In fact, it was too strict and ‘invasive’.
This led to the creation of a new ‘Medicine Expert Committee’ headed by Dr Luca Carcagnani.
The experts are looking at all the evidence to see if the new protocol is a good fit for the current footballing climate, as well as whether the ‘New Approach’ is ‘effective’ in terms of helping footballers recover from injuries and illnesses.
However it seems that the ‘experts’ are split on whether the protocol is the best way forward to tackle the problem of concussions.
In particular, there is disagreement as to whether it’s the right way forward in terms with the number and type of players who will be covered.
4/11 Can I still play football under the new procedure?
The protocol was introduced in December 2016.
Under the new system, all players will now have to wear the brace, with the brace being covered by a helmet and shoulder pads, but not the neck or head.
However under the current medical protocol, it will only cover the neck and head.
Furthermore, the player will have to stay in a football training ground for a minimum of six weeks before being allowed to play.
In theory, players can still go back and play if they need to, but it’s unlikely to happen.
5/11 Is the protocol a success?
It depends on your view of footballing health.
Many believe that the current protocol is not the right one and the ‘new approach’ isn’t effective, especially with regards to tackling concussions and other injuries.
This is because players will have an increased number of doctors on the field, with a bigger number of specialists to deal with all the injuries and the need to manage them.
Furthermore there will be more medical personnel available, which will also mean the new protocols will require more money for the medical team.
The proposed protocol will, therefore, cost the clubs €5m in addition to the €3.5m already spent.
In total, it would cost around €20m, which means the new format would cost clubs €9.8m.
However some argue that the money will be better spent on other priorities such as tackling the chronic and preventable disease of chronic fatigue syndrome.
6/11 Do you think the new model is effective?
The new medical protocols are currently being tested by the European Rugby Football Union, which has been looking into the proposals.
It will be interesting to see whether the European Football Association (EFA) will follow suit.
However there is some support for the new approach among some medical