EPL clubs reject 5 substitutes for third time but approve concussion replacements

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Premier League clubs have voted against allowing teams to make five substitutions per match for a third time at a shareholders’ meeting on Thursday but have agreed to increase the number of substitutes on the bench from seven to nine.

A number of managers have called for the top flight to adopt the change, with Jurgen Klopp calling it a “necessity” and Pep Guardiola labelling the current three substitute limit a “disaster”.

The Premier League is currently the only major league in Europe not to have kept the five substitute limit that was introduced when domestic football resumed towards the end of last season.

The proposal was previously voted down twice before the 2020/21 campaign began and has again failed to meet the threshold of 14 votes in favour at a meeting of the 20 clubs.

However, teams will be permitted to name nine players on the bench, up from the previous seven, from this weekend.

While they chose to reject the five substitute proposal, the Premier League clubs have voted in principle to introduce permanent concussion substitutions.

Teams will be able to use up to two additional replacements per game if players are suspecting of sustaining, or diagnosed with, a concussion.

The move comes after the International Football Association Board (IFAB) which governs the laws of the game – approved the rule change on a trial basis on Wednesday.

The Premier League will now apply to IFAB to take part in the trial, which begins next month.

The Football Association is also in favour of implementing concussions substitutes and says it will bring them into its competitions “at the earliest practical opportunity”.

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