Five Substitutes Finally Given Voice
The English Premier League has agreed with the English Football League clubs to allow five substitutes per game for the rest of the season. The English Football League board has agreed to increase the number from three, following consultation with the 72 teams. The new changes will take place from Friday’s Championship fixture between Coventry and Birmingham.
Second-tier clubs can name up to nine substitutes in matchday squads, while League One and League Two clubs will allow only five substitutes. In August, the English Premier League clubs voted to return to three changes per game. Scottish Premiership clubs voted in July to continue with five substitutions when their 2020-21 season started.
There have since been calls, headed by defending champions Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. This can be easily linked with the recent injury problems both managers are currently facing in the league. They made the alteration in the English top flight too.
Richard Masters the English Premier League chief executive said last week that there were no plans to bring back the five substitutes but it seems it has now changed. The issue would need to be raised before a Premier League shareholders meeting, then voted upon by clubs. And, as things stand, there is no meeting scheduled.
Teams were first given “temporary dispensation” to make five substitutes per match by Fifa in April following the Covid-19 outbreak. The world governing body then chose, before the end of the delayed 2019-20 season, to extend the use of the rule but said it was up to individual competitions whether it was implemented.
The English Football League is the latest league to know implement the five substitutes rule. It will also be used in the Carabao Cup or Papa John’s Trophy.