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Chelsea, Manchester United lead push for change in substitution rules - report

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According to Sky Sports, Premier League clubs will be discussing a change in rules for the forthcoming season to increase the number of available substitutes on the bench from seven to nine players. Chelsea and Manchester United are believed to be the clubs "leading the push" for these changes.

The change of rules would only affect the number of players available as subs; the number of changes allowed would remain fixed at three just as it is now.  This proposal is set to be discussed at the next Premier League's Annual General Meeting in June, alongside other hard-hitting changes like a new substitutes board, a new ball, and a select few Friday night fixtures (which have already been agreed upon, actually).

The number of subs available in the Premier League was last changed in 2008, when it was increased from five to seven. Before then, only three substitutes were allowed, before that just one or two, and before that, there was even a time when there were no substitutes at all allowed!

Given the ever-increasing demands of modern football on players - especially with the hectic schedule Premier League clubs face with no winter break, two cups, and possible European commitments - such changes make total sense. In fact, the Premier League is lagging behind others in this regard:  FIFA have allowed clubs and leagues to have 12 bench players available on match-day since 2012 (replicating the rules in international matches). The Italian Serie A and the Brazilian League are two of the most prominent competitions that have taken advantage of this rule.

With the increase from 18 to 20-man matchday squads, this could also mean more chances for Chelsea youngsters to make an appearance in the first-team. All in all, it's hard to find any negatives in this potential change taking place in the Premier League next season.

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