Preston North End will have fewer substitutes available next season as EFL prepares to adopt Premier League rule

Preston North End look set to have a less crowded bench when the new season starts.

Friday, 7th August 2020, 8:00 am

The expansion of matchday squads to nine substitutes, of which five could be used, is being consigned to history.

That was introduced to help clubs cope with the demands of last season’s restart after the three-month shutdown.

At their AGM yesterday, Premier League clubs voted to return to the use of three subs from a bench of seven.

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Jayden Stockley, Brad Potts and Scott Sinclair get ready to come off the bench in PNE’s game at Brentford

The EFL will follow suit as they bring themselves in line with the top flight.

It is understood EFL clubs wanted the number of subs reduced, not withstanding the Premier League decision.

After only a three-week build-up to June’s restart, it was felt teams needed the flexibility of more subs to cut down on injuries. It was a means to an end and it did allow managers to dip into their squads.

FIFA would have permitted an extension of the extra subs for the 2020/21 season but left the decision down to individual leagues.

North End’s best use of substitutes after the restart was without doubt in the 3-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday.

All three goals were scored by subs – Scott Sinclair, Jayden Stockley and Brad Potts.

PNE boss Alex Neil used five substitutes in five of the restart games – against Luton, Cardiff, Wednesday, Nottingham Forest and Brentford.

He brought on four in the matches at Huddersfield and Bristol City, while in the 2-0 win over Birmingham Neil made only two changes.

Whether the drinks breaks in either half continues, remains to be seen.

Their purpose was twofold, to allow the players a quick breather and for the goalposts to be sprayed. However, the breaks did tend to kill the momentum of a game and ended up being a time-out for managers to deliver a tactics talk.

In terms of any changes in the EFL for the season ahead, their AGM is due to be held on August 19.

Clubs in League One and League Two were due to vote on a salary cap today.

There has been a flurry of transfer activity from clubs in those two divisions recently ahead of that vote.

If a salary cap was voted in, players signed before the vote would not fully count towards the limit.

The Championship is not going down the salary-cap route, although there are proposals to put a limit on the size of squads.

The North End squad will return for pre-season training next Thursday, which will provide a build-up of four weeks and two days to the new season. They have a number of friendlies planned to regain their match fitness.