Game-changers could be increased for Luton

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Luton Town manager Nathan Jones could be allowed to make up to five substitutions in the future if clubs agree on a new proposal set out at the EFL Summer Conference.

With the outcome of the meeting published yesterday, one of the discussion points was whether clubs wanted to be able to increase the number of alterations, or game-changers, as the Hatters chief calls them, that can be made during a game from three to five.

The statement said: “Following the recent International Football Association Board (IFAB) AGM, it was agreed that non top-tier tier competitions could have the flexibility to make modifications to organisational areas of the laws of the game for which they administer. In the EFL’s case, this includes potentially increasing the number of substitutes used.

“Clubs were asked to consider the matter further and a proposal will be taken forward to the next club meeting in September.”

Meanwhile, there could also be new ruling passed in which clubs have to field full strength sides during the final period of the season.

After the Hatters were fined £15k for picking what was deemed a weakened side in the Checkatrade Trophy group stages, despite reaching the semi-final, Championship side Huddersfield came under criticism for resting players in the match at relegation-threatened Birmingham City, ahead of the play-offs, as they went down 1-0.

The statement continued: “The circumstances faced by the EFL at the end of the season in relation to the requirement for members to play full strength sides in League matches were considered.

“The EFL is working up a policy to determine what constitutes a full strength team to remove any further potential reputational damage to the EFL and its competitions.

“A significant number of clubs supported preliminary proposals that would require managers to include a yet to be defined number of outfield players who featured on the team sheet in the previous game.

“This requirement would take effect from the fourth Thursday in March to the conclusion of the season and discussions also included a provision that any club could make a claim for exceptional circumstances and any charge of non-compliance would be referred to a Football Disciplinary Commission (FDC).

“The EFL was tasked with formulating a formal proposal for Clubs to consider in September.”

Clubs voted through a number of amendments to the current Owners’ and Directors’ Test regulations, with the EFL also committed to determine what practical measures can be put in place in to keep supporters off the pitch in future games, and also reviewing its approach to minimum stadium criteria to ensure the provisions in place are current and still appropriate.