English Premier League clubs will be able to use five substitutes, rather than usual three, when the season resumes on June 17, announced on Thursday.
The change was decided during a virtual meeting of the league’s shareholders, where broadcast enhancements were also discussed to compensate for the absence of supporters at games.
“For the remainder of the 2019/20 season, the number of substitutes that can be used during a match will increase from three to five players,” Premier League said in a statement on their official website.
“This is in line with the temporary law amendment made by the International Football Association Board last month.
“Shareholders also approved for clubs to increase the maximum number of substitute players on the bench from seven to nine for the rest of the 2019/20 season,” the statement added.
EPL – A financially driven League?
The Premier League is currently scheduled to resume on June 17 with 92 outstanding fixtures still to be played after all elite football games in England were suspended in March due to the outbreak of the coronavirus which has claimed more than 3.8 lakh lives across the world thus far.
The games are expected to be held on the normal ‘home and away’ basis, with only a handful of fixtures possibly being moved to neutral venues if authorities believe there may be a risk of fans turning up outside the ground.
Recently, Aston Villa footballer Tyrone Mings showed his disappointment and said players were the ‘last people to be consulted’ over the English Premier League’s restart plans, which he feels is ‘financially driven’.
Clubs also discussed possible ‘broadcast enhancements’ to allow television to have additional material to liven up the coverage of games without fans.
Reports have suggested that cameras on the bench, in the dressing room and extra ones in the tunnel could be allowed along with sound of the coin toss before the game.
The league’s Broadcast Enhancement Advisory Group have been looking at how to compensate for the lack of atmosphere.
Liverpool lead the Premier League table by 25 points with nine games remaining as they chase their first title in 30 years.
The games are expected to be spread out with one scenario envisaging two matches on Friday evening, four on Saturday, three on Sunday and the regular Monday night slot. No games would be played simultaneously.
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