Premier League clubs set to take big step towards five-sub U-turn


Remier League clubs are set to take an important step towards introducing five substitutes for next season.

The subject was due to be discussed at this morning’s shareholders’ meeting of the 20 clubs, although a formal vote is unlikely on Thursday.

The English top flight was the only major competition not to introduce five subs from May 2020 after the first coronavirus shutdown, but the Premier League has compiled data on the potential welfare benefits for players, which were shared with the clubs.

In October, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which sets the laws of the game, recommended that five substitutions be implemented permanently in the sport, but some Premier League clubs argued this gave an advantage unfair to those who had deeper teams.

However, the prospect of another truncated season – with the Premier League having to lose seven weeks of the 2022-23 campaign to host the mid-season Winter World Cup in Qatar – would have persuaded the rebels to join us, and there is now likely to be enough support for a rule change at the end of this season.

Clubs will also decide dates for the summer transfer window, with next season due to start a week earlier than normal, and discuss the reduction of Covid measures, including central testing of players and club staff.

The Premier League is expected to update clubs on the progress of the government’s fan-led review, which recommended the introduction of an independent regulator for football in November.

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