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Premier League to allow 20-man squads and five substitutes when season restarts

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The Premier League has approved the use of five subs and 20-man squads for Project Restart, in a vote at Thursday’s videoconference.

The traditional substitutes bench will increase from seven to nine available players, with the Premier League following the example of the Bundesliga to reduce the risk of potential fitness issues due to the extended break.

The decision was announced after the last shareholder meeting as clubs fine-tune matchday procedures ahead of the league’s resumption on 17 June.


It follows a temporary dispensation introduced by the game’s law-making body the International Football Association Board.

Substitutions can only be made at a maximum of three points in a match, to avoid unnecessary delays.

With just 13 positive tests from over 5,000 samples in the past three weeks, clubs are confident the season will be completed.

However, contingency plans in case of an unforeseen curtailment of the season – in the event of a second spike – were not finalised.​

There had been reports ahead of the meeting that some clubs were still hoping for relegation to be ruled out if the season could not be finished.

EFL chairman Rick Parry warned last month that “lawyers are going to get wealthy” if the Premier League did attempt to block clubs being promoted from the Championship, and said it would be a breach of the tripartite agreement between his organisation, the Premier League and the Football Association which was set out when the English top flight was founded in 1992.

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