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Premier League clubs vote against adoption of five-substitute rule next season

The Premier League will return to the traditional use of three substitutes after they were unable to find a suitable agreement among the clubs at the shareholders meeting on Thursday.

Earlier in May, the International Football Association Board accepted the five-substitute proposal from FIFA on a temporary basis for the rest of the season due to the congested schedule and the varying weather conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In mid-July, it was confirmed that the rule will remain in place for the entire 2020/21 campaign, but it would be up to the different domestic leagues to decide whether they want to implement the same for next season.

The clubs outside of the elite bracket believed that the rule was unfairly advantageous for the top sides with bigger squads and during the recent shareholders’ meeting, only 11 of the 20 teams voted in favour, which fell short of the 14 threshold to keep the law change.

Meanwhile, the Premier League will also revert to an 18-man squad from the temporary change to 20. In the same meeting, there was a 10-10 tie in the vote to increase the matchday squads for next term. Hence, the Premier League sides will observe the traditional three substitute-rule and 18-man matchday squad for the 2020/21 campaign.

There is no confirmation whether the EFL will go with the same decision. In the past, the teams in the Football League have gone in favour with the choice made by the top division in the country. The new Premier League season starts from September 12.

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