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Premier League teams approve the use of five substitutes from nine

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As expected

Chelsea FC v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

At today’s latest meeting of all teams, the Premier League approved the expected changes to the number of substitutes allowed for when games resume in two weeks.

Teams will now be allowed to use five substitutes from nine players on the bench. Before, it was three from seven.

This mirrors similar concessions in other leagues around Europe that have already restarted, including the Bundesliga, and is in line with FIFA’s recommendations after IFAB approved the temporary change in the Laws of the Game. The five-substitutions rule will be up for review again before the end of the calendar year, when it might get extended as a more permanent change.

Similarly, the rule change only applies to Project Restart for now, but the league could conceivably extend it if FIFA and IFAB do as well.

The Premier League also approved the suggestion of Chelsea Football Club to increase the number of substitutes on the bench from seven to nine, which is a relatively minor change that other leagues had made a long time ago (Serie A have allowed twelve on the bench since 2012, for example) but goes hand-in-hand with the increased number of substitutes used. Chelsea had in fact proposed this change back in 2016 once already, but have now found a more receptive audience.

As in other implementations, the number of in-game stoppages allowed in a 90-minute game to make substitutions is staying at three (not counting half-time), so at least one of the substitutions made by a team will have to be a double change to use the full allotment of five.

In theory, the change will most benefit teams with greater depth, such as Chelsea, though all teams should see a positive impact in terms of injuries and fatigue.