Substitutions are part and parcel of Premier League football.
Whether it’s looking for a spark from the bench in attack or shoring up a defence with a 1-0 lead in the dying minutes, managers across the land turn to their subs with regularity to try to change their fortunes.
Here’s how many substitutions are currently allowed in the Premier League.
In March 2022, Premier League clubs voted in favour of five substitutions for each team per match. It was originally brought in back in May 2020 during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic before reverting back to three from the 2020/21 campaign.
Premier League clubs had previously voted against the amendment. Football’s law-making body, IFAB, had recommended making the rule permanent, though the Premier League remained the only top league in Europe to decide against having five substitutions in 2020/21.
Once that decision was reversed, the league’s statement read: “Premier League Shareholders met today and discussed a range of matters.
“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.”
Managers have voiced their concerns over player fatigue, with both Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola saying player fatigue and injuries had been caused by not being able to make enough substitutions.
Liverpool boss Klopp made five substitutions seven times in the nine games they played during Project Restart. That was behind on Graham Potter and Brighton, who used their full allowance eight times.
Famously a lineup tinkerer, City’s Guardiola only used his full complement in four games.
There have been arguments that allowing a greater number of substitutions is more favourable to bigger clubs in the Premier League as it allows them to use more of the greater quality they have at their disposal. The likes of Dean Smith, Sean Dyche, Roy Hodgson and Chris Wilder were among the dissenting voices when asked for their opinions.