Leeds Rhinos have been name-checked in relation to football’s decision to bring in sin bins from the 2024/25 season, something that will also be implemented in the Premier League.
The sin bin has long been a part of rugby league and works very effectively with little to no complaint from fans who now see it as part of the fabric of the game, although of course they may complain about certain decisions.
However as a concept the sin bin is something that rugby league sees as simply normal now, whereas to the sport of football it’s a completely alien concept.
It’s something that football will have to get used to quickly though as at a meeting in London on Tuesday it was put forward that sin bins will be trialled at higher levels.
At the Annual Business Meeting the International Football Association Board approved proposed trials in regard to sin bins, the new rule replicating rugby whereby only the captain can approach the referee with the threat of a sin bin to deter other players from harassing them.
Far too often in football you see referees swarmed by players in ugly scenes that remind you of sulking and upset children complaining, however that is something that is rarely seen in rugby league.
Instead captains can speak with an official with referees quite often heard on their mic telling players to go away, which is more often than not listened to and enacted upon.
With this potential for sin bins to be trialled at higher levels, possibly even the Premier League, football writer Neil Squires for the Express has referenced Leeds Rhinos in his criticism of the new proposed laws.
Squires references the era in which the Rhinos used to have their sin bin sponsored by West Yorkshire Police, a comical way of sending a player their marching orders and something that helped present the police well within the community.
He wrote: “It was a neat piece of tongue-in-cheek community promotion by the boys in blue – even if they stopped short of going the whole hog and putting bars up to put prop forwards behind.”
Now though he has expressed fears that given the commercial monster that football is, a sponsorship deal for the sin bin feels inevitable as another way for advertisers to make money from the sport and yet another avenue for the sport to generate billions of pounds.
That is where he draws the line of positives though, labelling sin bins in football a “mistake”, despite his admiration for the Rhinos old way of announcing matters of ill discipline.