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…
Keith Hackett is concerned about the Premier League’s concussion substitution trial after George Baldock’s head injury in Sheffield United’s defeat at Leeds United on Saturday.
Baldock was checked for a concussion after a reckless challenge by himself on Tyler Roberts resulted in a head injury when the Leeds star’s knee connected with Baldock’s head.
The Blades player was tested but returned to the pitch, only to be substituted off again minutes later as he complained of blurred vision.
Alan Shearer blasted Sheffield United for allowing Baldock to continue playing while on punditry duty for Amazon Prime on Saturday.
As quoted by the Daily Mail, Shearer said: “I look at it and I think, when is football going to learn. If in doubt, sit them out.”
Former Premier League referee Hackett wants to see an improved way to test for concussion and also pointed out that fans need to know what’s happening once they’re allowed back in the stadiums.
One suggestion Hackett has is to introduce a green or a blue card.
“What concerns me about this is the fact that an inspection was carried out on this particular player and then minutes later, he has to leave the field of play,” Hackett told MOT Leeds News.
“One questions the actual protocol for the test. Is that in line with rugby? Because in rugby, once they go off, they go off. Is there a view that if the player has sustained that level of injury should stay on?
“My concern was that he came back on and then he had to go off so I’m concerned about how that works.
“The other side of it is that looking forward, I think there could be some confusion here for when the fans are back in because they don’t know when there’s a concussion sub. They might even think the player’s been sent off.
“My view is that a green card or a blue card, whatever the colour, should be introduced to indicate to everyone a concussion substitution is taking place.”
The current trial for concussions substitutes means that teams can make an extra sub if a player suffers a concussion.
A final decision on whether a player could have a concussion is done over at least 10 minutes, which is what happened with Baldock.
According to The Telegraph, “if there are clear symptoms or video evidence suggesting a concussion the player will be permanently removed from play and a concussion substitute can come on”.
In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has dropped a big hint about potential first-team debuts for Joe Gelhardt and Crysencio Summerville.