Date: 18th July 2008 at 1:13am
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For the new season the Football League has decided all teams will take part in a ‘handshake procedure’ before every match.

It’ll be a sprinkle of continental football before each match next season. Similar to that seen in the Champions League, Premier League and the European Leagues, teams will be required to line up in front of the main stand and take part in a ‘Fair Play handshake’.

It’s part of the Football League’s backing of the FA’s ‘Respect’ programme, which aims ‘to improve behaviour both on and around the pitch and, in particular, demonstrate a commitment towards greater respect for match officials’.

In a letter sent out to all clubs this week, the Football League states:

‘With effect from the official start of the new League season, all clubs are, therefore, asked to incorporate this ‘Fair Play` handshake into their pre-match ceremony in front of their own ‘main` stand.’

‘…it may be advisable for clubs to consider rehearsing these arrangements in any pre-season friendly matches you might be planning at home in order to iron-out any teething problems.’

Can’t wait.