By MOT Leeds News speaking to Keith Hackett

23rd Aug, 2021 | 9:00pm

Keith Hackett: Leeds United big beneficiaries of major rule change

We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett to the MOT Leeds News team. Each week, Hackett will discuss the big moments from the latest Leeds United games and deliver his verdict on whether his successors got their calls right or wrong…

Former FIFA referee Keith Hackett believes Leeds United will be big beneficiaries of a recent rule change in the Premier League.

Ahead of the 2021/22 campaign, officials were told not to penalise “trivial things” during games [BBC Sport].

Marcelo Bielsa recently said that “the refereeing is more lenient now” [Leeds Live] but stopped short of saying whether it would lend itself to favouring Leeds’ style of play.

However, ex-Premier League referee Hackett reckons the Whites could profit from the relaxation of the rules

“There’s no doubt Leeds play attractive attacking football, it’s great to watch,” Hackett told MOT Leeds News.

“I think everybody up and down the country likes the style and approach and the risk-taking.

“With the lighter touch, hopefully, referees will apply more advantage and keep the game flowing with less interference and penalising.

“As a result, I think it will benefit teams of a high pressing style like Leeds have.

“They’re no longer facing ‘stop, stop, stop’, this continual interference from the referee, and that’s the benefit we’re seeing from the lighter touch.

“We’re actually seeing referees encouraged to take risks and this is why I think I’m not overly critical of the refereeing because they’re trying to buy into what they saw at the Euros.

“That’s good for the game.”

In other Leeds United news, Sky Sports pundit baffled by ‘Incredible’ Bielsa decision in Leeds clash v Everton.