The Premier League have agreed to allow teams to make five substitutions in each game in an attempt to ease the physical strain of the restart.
The league is set to get underway on 17 June, with the first full round of fixtures taking place that weekend, and games are then expected to come thick and fast to get through the nine remaining gameweeks without making a major impact on the 2020/21 campaign.
Premier League shareholders met on Thursday to discuss the plan for exactly how football will return, and the league took to their official website to confirm that it was agreed to allow the use of five substitutes each game instead of the usual three.
As part of the ruling, teams will still be restricted to three periods in the game in which they are allowed to make a substitution so as to avoid time-wasting, but they will now be permitted to bring five fresh players into the game.
There was reported to be some resistance from a handful of sides who felt as though allowing five substitutes would only benefit the richer, deeper squads and leave the smaller teams at a disadvantage – but the issues were clearly not significant enough to cause any real problem.
Chelsea led appeals to allow teams to name nine players on the bench instead of the usual seven, and a league statement confirmed that these plans had been approved as well.
The meeting also featured lengthy discussions about a number of different issues, with the use of neutral venues, the fate of relegation and the use of VAR all understood to have been on the agenda.
Not everything will have been decided upon in Thursday’s meeting, with a second conference scheduled for Thursday, 11 June to allow teams to thrash out the remaining details of a return plan.
If everything goes according to plan, football will return to our screens six days later, when Manchester City meet Arsenal and Sheffield United clash with Aston Villa.
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