Report: SPFL contact clubs on mid-season change that will delight Ange and Celtic

By Euan Davidson

January 3, 2022

Celtic and other SPFL clubs could see the number of substitutions made in games return to 5, in a move reminiscent of the 20-21 season, according to a report.

The rules from 20-21, owing of course to the outbreak of Covid-19, meant that clubs could make 5 in-game substitutions instead of the traditional 3. That was scrapped this season, but with a hectic schedule in progress and Omicron causing chaos, SPFL clubs are debating a return.

In a report from the Scottish Sun [13.14], it was stated that top-flight clubs have lobbied the SPFL to change back to the rules regarding substitutes. In turn, Hampden chiefs are believed to have sent out proposals. However, there’s opposition, with bigger clubs like Celtic having more resources and players than the likes of Ross County or St Johnstone.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Clubs will vote on the rule change prior to the 17th of January restart.

On the 23rd of December, Ange gave his take on the rule, saying [Sky Sports News, 23/12, 14:35]: “I think there are a couple of things there.

“That’s one aspect and with Covid still hanging around there are some challenges in terms of you may lose players because of positive tests.

“But if you’ve got injuries that can also come from clubs being unable to rotate or rest players. I think it’s something that should be looked at if we’re going to continue these kinds of schedules.”

“Maeda will set the tone for Ange at Celtic” | Japanese football expert Sam Robson

“Maeda will set the tone for Ange at Celtic” | Japanese football expert Sam Robson
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Celtic and Ange Postecoglou would benefit from change, opportunities for SPFL youngsters

Does having 5 substitutions disrupt the flow of a game? On paper, yes, but there wasn’t a significant amount of backlash about this last season from a supporter’s perspective. It wasn’t too big of an upheaval, in truth.

From a youth development perspective, the benefits are obvious. Any club can name youngsters on their bench who can gain valuable in-game experience. For Celtic, there’s an entire B Team to potentially choose from, so there’s obvious benefit there.

In terms of Celtic specifically, the problems with hamstring injuries late in games wouldn’t disappear. But the 5 subs scenario could at least alleviate it to some degree. Especially with demands of multiple competitions, travel and everything that comes with being competitive across different fronts.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

There’s a necessity to this. It makes perfect sense given the Covid-19 situation, and how players will be affected by it.

Of course, there’ll be opposition from clubs with smaller squads. From a very, very biased point of view, though, it’d be a good thing for Celtic; perhaps the rest of the SPFL and Scottish Premiership will see the benefit too.

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