Clubs in the second, third and fourth tiers of English football are now allowed to use up to five substitutions on matchdays.
The English Football League, the league competition for the 2nd-4th tiers, consulted with the 72 teams across the three divisions.
Clubs in the Championship, England’s second tier, are allowed to use five substitutes from nine nominated substitutes in a matchday squad. Meanwhile, clubs in Leagues 1 and 2 will still only name seven substitutes, but can use five of them during a match.
The news comes as EFL clubs battle with an intensely packed season; some EFL clubs have played over 20 games since the season resumed in September. Fleetwood Town in League 1 play their 21st game of the season on Friday 27th November as they host Sunderland in the league and could end the calendar year having played a whopping 30 games in 4 months – and this is not an isolated incident.
The Championship game between Coventry City and Birmingham City was the first game where the rules were allowed. There were nine substitutes named on each side’s bench, though Birmingham only used one. The game finished 0-0 on Friday 20th November.
Championship teams play in the Carabao Cup and FA Cup on top of their 46 league games. Clubs in Leagues 1 and 2 play in an additional tournament, the Papa John’s Trophy, as well as the Carabao and FA Cups on top of their league commitments.
These rules are effective until the end of the season.