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Premier League adopts five substitutions starting next season

The decision will also see the bench expand to nine players from the current seven.

Aston Villa v Arsenal - Premier League Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images

It’s officially official. After experimenting during the COVID-19 era, the Premier League officially announced today that it is joining with other top European leagues to change the rules regarding substitute players during league matches. Beginning in the 2022-23 season, Premier League clubs will be allowed five substitutes in a match, with the bench expanding to nine players from the current seven.

Here are the new rules as per the Premier League’s statement on their website. Note that while five substitutions can be made, clubs only have the ability to bring on players three times over the course of any one match (not including halftime).

Five substitutes

Clubs agreed to change the rules relating to substitute players.

From next season, clubs will be permitted to use five substitutions, to be made on three occasions during a match, with an additional opportunity at half-time.

A total of nine substitutes can be named on the team sheet.

This has been coming for a while, but it’s not without controversy. Opponents of the rule change say that a move from three to five subs benefits the richest and biggest clubs more than it does the rest of the league, as they are more likely to have deeper and better benches. Proponents, however, point to the crammed match schedule over the course of any given season and say that the extra two subs would allow for greater flexibility to rest players and hence avoid injury, especially during the congested holiday fixture period.

The decision brings the Premier League back in line with IFAB recommendations, which suggested a permanent switch to five subs last year. Most major competitions including the Champions League already made the switch, as has La Liga, Serie A, and even the WSL.

In addition, the Premier League also confirmed the dates of this summer’s transfer window. The window will open on June 10 and continue through September 1 at 11:00 p.m. BST. The league also announced that it has modified its COVID-19 testing policy, removing the twice-weekly testing requirement and pivoting to one that requires testing only when individuals are reporting symptoms.