Premier League clubs have, on Thursday, voted to change the number of substitutes allowed to take to the pitch for the remainder of the campaign.
Premier League returning
All being well, we are just under two weeks away from the return of top-flight football in England.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Premier League and EFL have been suspended since the 13th of March.
And whilst there was previously uncertainty surrounding whether the 2019/20 campaign would/should even be played to completion, recent weeks have seen the Premier League take huge steps towards a return.
The resumption of ‘small group training’ was sanctioned on the 18th of May.
This was followed by Premier League clubs voting to resume contact training 10 days later.
And, of course, on the 28th of May, it was announced that the 17th of June had been set as a provisional restart date for the Premier League season.
Premier League to allow five subs
But while there is finally a provisional return date set for the Premier League, there are also a number of concerns surrounding the season’s restart.
The obvious one is safety, with the Premier League currently carrying out vigorous COVID-19 testing on all players and staff at every club.
Another major area of concern is the fitness of players. If the season indeed resumes on June 17th, players will take to the pitch having been away from the game for just over three months.
But whilst there may be fears of a rise in injuries caused by such a swift return to action, clubs have begun to take steps to ease these concerns.
The Telegraph reported earlier this week that Premier League outfits have been granted permission to hold friendly fixtures amongst themselves, to build match fitness ahead of the season’s resumption.
And now, as mentioned above, another measure to help to prevent a rise in injuries has been agreed upon on Thursday.
As per an official statement from the Premier League:
Premier League Shareholders today agreed temporary changes to the rules relating to substitute players.
For the remainder of the 2019/20 season, the number of substitutes that can be used during a match will increase from three to five players.
As well as increasing the number of permitted substitutes, there has also been an increase in the number of players who can take their place on the bench for a Premier League fixture for the remainder of the season:
For the remainder of the 2019/20 season, Premier League clubs will now be able to make substitutes instead of
The maximum number of substitute players on the bench has been increased from to
— Premier League (@premierleague) June 4, 2020
This article was edited by Conor Laird.