The 2022/23 Premier League season will bring a crucial change after club shareholders approved a change in substitution rules back in March.
After a consultation and vote of all 20 Premier League CEOs, managers are allowed to make five substitutions per game within a new framework.
Five substitutions per game were initially allowed during the 2019/20 season disrupted by Covid-19, but this was scaled back to three ahead of the 2020/21 season.
Although opinion appeared divided in Premier League circles, clubs voted to return to the Rule of Five.
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How many substitutions are allowed in the Premier League in 2022/23?
From the 2022/23 season, Premier League teams are allowed to make up to five substitutions in a game.
The rules surrounding the new allowance are somewhat subject to the same restrictions as originally in 2019/20.
Managers can now name a maximum of nine substitutes on their matchday team sheet, including goaltenders, with in-game substitutions only allowed at three intervals.
A total of five substitutions can be made in regulation time (90 minutes plus injury time), but each manager only has three opportunities to make these changes, including half-time and drinking breaks.
Why did the Premier League change the subs rule?
The Premier League has consistently raised itself as a player welfare issue, particularly ahead of the 2022 World Cup this year.
“The well-being of players and staff remains a priority and the Premier League continues to monitor the national Covid-19 situation and adjust protocols as necessary, in line with the latest guidance from health officials and medical experts,” an official said Explanation .
The majority of big leagues across Europe opted to keep their own Covid-19-enforced five-substitution rule, with the Premier League remaining as an outlier.
The Premier League has backed the reintroduction of five substitute players from the start of the 2022/23 season.
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— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) March 31, 2022
Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have led calls for change, but they have been snubbed by managers and fans of ‘smaller’ teams as they are perceived as an advantage for larger teams with starting talent.
However, despite the controversy, the move to the Premier League was backed by the Professional Footballers’ Association.
“The passage of this rule is a welcome step forward in an ongoing effort to address player fatigue issues,” said Maheta Molango, PFA Chief Executive.
Who does Rule 2022/23 help or hinder?
The main criticism of the rule change is the ability of Premier League stars like champions Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur to make additional substitutions from a star-studded squad.
The argument is that teams lower down the Premier League food chain are constrained in their ability to make changes due to financial constraints and squad depth.
The ability to make changes to punish a tired defense with new attacking options favors City and Liverpool, with 2021/22 numbers underpinning concerns.
According to data from March 2022, City and Liverpool tied for second place for goals scored by substitutes in the Premier League, with six goals each.
— Premier League (@premierleague) May 28, 2022
Manchester United were No. 1 on the list, with 10 goals off the bench, including four from England star Marcus Rashford.
Squad depth also allows for greater scope for mid-game changes – especially during the busy New Year period – with United leading again with 79 substitutions in the first seven months of the 2021/22 season. Of course, United endured their worst Premier League season ever with a return of 58 points.
West Ham star Said Benrahma ended the 2021/22 season with 22 early departures for the Hammers as the most-substituted Premier League player.