Celtic and the rest of the Premiership will be able to use up to five substitutions this coming season – after top-flight clubs voted in favour of the proposal.
Use of up to five substitutes in Scottish Premiership matches for the 2020/21 season has been approved by Premiership clubs.
— SPFL (@spfl) July 30, 2020
It means that Neil Lennon will be able to make up to five subs in every single Premiership match this season, while he can also name nine players on his bench, up two from last season.
The move follows the decision to implement the five sub rule into this season’s Betfred Cup – as confirmed by the SPFL last week – and follows on from the likes of England, Germany and Spain adopting the policy following the resumption of football.
In a statement today, the SPFL say that clubs can make up to five subs but can only halt play on a maximum of three occasions.
It is not yet clear whether half-time counts as one of those times.
Five sub rule could play into Celtic’s hands
The news can be seen as a real positive for Celtic ahead of such a potentially gruelling campaign – as we fight on four separate domestic fronts (if you include both season’s Scottish Cup’s).
Having an extra couple of subs should give us the chance to rest more key players in the closing stages of matches.
For example, if strolling a game by two or three goals, we could remove half of our team and keep players fresh for upcoming matches.
It also, more importantly, should give us a better chance at changing things from the bench.
If things aren’t working, we’ll have the ability to throw on two extra players who have the potential to change the game.
Given that we have a squad with far more depth and quality than any other in the country, today’s ruling must give us a real advantage.
The SPFL say the five sub rule is a “temporary alteration” although many would expect it to stick around if it proves to be successful.