Scottish Premiership clubs agree to five substitutes rule change after winter break

Teams will now be allowed to name a bench of up to nine players due to various ongoing fixture and Covid concerns

Scottish Premiership clubs have voted to increase the number of substitutes allowed in league matches to five for the remainder of the season.

The top-flight teams have used three subs this term after opting to use five last season during the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic when games were played behind closed doors.

Sign up to our GlasgowWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The new rule will come into force after the winter break in time for the Premiership resumption on Monday 17 January when Celtic entertain Hibernian at Parkhead, in a League Cup Final rematch.

Nine players can now be named on a substitutes bench. Picture: SNS

The SPFL circulated a written resolution asking whether clubs wished to continue with three substitutes only or to increase the number to five and with the vote now approved to reverse the decision.

75% of clubs supported the decision, which will also allow them to name a bench of up to nine players amid a congested fixture calendar and concerns surrounding weather conditions and Covid and isolation measures.

The use of five substitutes is already permitted in League 2 and the SPFL is consulting with Championship and League 1 clubs over the position in their divisions.

An SPFL spokesman said: “FIFA has allowed each league to determine its own rules regarding substitutes since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

“As a members’ organisation, it is key that clubs in each division are able to make decisions on issues such as this for themselves.”