English Premier League teams will be able to make 5 substitutions in each game when football resumes on June 17.
The temporary new rules were approved by the clubs today. Teams will also name nine substitutes instead of the normal seven.
Football’s international law-makers gave competitions the option of increasing substitutes to compensate for the short preparation time before football’s resumption, but does it damage the integrity of the league to make such a switch in mid-flow despite the special circumstances?
I think yes as it changes the game still further. This latest development will be tactically exploited, more than it will be a relief measure and I wonder if it’s a necessary move. Some would already argue that three subs under normal circumstances is one too many. Now the English are going to five!
Meanwhile further north there are signs of progress in Scotland, with SPL clubs’ first-team squads being allowed to return to training from June 11. Other leagues in the country must prove to the Scottish FA they can meet testing and other health measures before they get the green light.
Protocols issued to clubs this week say training must initially be non-contact and in small groups.
Clubs are planning for the new SPL season to start, 1 August.
And Spanish football will return a day earlier than planned on June 10, with the second-half of the Segunda Division match between Rayo Vallecano and Albacete playing out.
The original fixture on 15 December was abandoned when Rayo Vallecano fans chanted “Nazi” at Albacete’s Roman Zozulya. It’s been a long interval, so I should remind that the first-half ended scoreless.
La Liga resumes the next day, with the remaining Segunda Division matches scheduled for June 12.
Ukrainian Zozulya joined Rayo on loan in 2017, but the deal was cancelled after some fans said the town was, “... not a place for Nazis.”
The player has always denied links with far-right groups.
In an open letter to Rayo fans in 2017, Zozulya claimed, “... a misunderstanding by a journalist who knows very little about the reality of my country and my own career... ” led to the belief he was involved in the far-right movement in Ukraine.
Rayo were fined 18,000 euros and given a two-match partial stadium closure.
With scheduled resumptions now popping up with greater frequency, you wonder if the decision by league authorities in France to end the league and award placings based on average points per game is somewhat premature.
As neighbouring leagues resume, it surely adds weight to the arguments of Olympique Lyonnais, who were in pursuit of a Champions League place when proceedings concluded, and to that of the relegated clubs, Amiens and Toulouse.