The International Football Association Board (IFAB) have announced that clubs will continue to be able to use five substitutions per game next season, following its introduction in recent months.
The usual rule of three subs was upped to five in May, as teams returned to action after the three-month pause due to the coronavirus outbreak. As players came back less than match fit, due to the exceptional circumstances, having been given little time to prepare for the gruelling schedule that awaited them.
Now IFAB - the body which governs the Laws of football - has confirmed the decision to increase the number of substitutions per game has been extended to the 2020/21 campaign. However, each competition will be free to choose whether to implement this ruling or not.
IFAB released a statement explaining their thought process behind the decision, stressing that players will continue to feel the strain of these difficult few months of football into the coming season.
"Following the decision taken on 8 May 2020 to give competitions scheduled to be completed in 2020 the option of allowing teams to use up to five substitutes, The IFAB Board of Directors had agreed to review whether to extend this option further.
"On the basis of this in-depth review based on stakeholder feedback and analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on competition calendars, The IFAB Board of Directors has approved to extend the option to competitions scheduled to be completed by 31 July 2021 and international competitions scheduled in July/August 2021.
"The main reason for the temporary amendment to Law 3 - The Players was the impact on player welfare of competitions being played in a condensed period and in different weather conditions.
"The recent review has shown that the reasons for the temporary amendment remain valid and the impact on player welfare is likely to continue into 2021."
This decision may hand further advantage to the top teams in the league next season, who possess deeper and more talented squads than their weaker opponents.
This announcement angered ex-Manchester United star and pundit Gary Neville, who claimed not to 'like or agree with this at all!'