Premier clubs increase subs

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The Independent Football

From next season Premier League clubs will be allowed to name seven substitutes for matches. The change was approved by the League yesterday after being advanced by, among others, Manchester United and Tottenham, and brings the Premier League into line with most of Europe's major leagues as well international tournaments such as the World Cup and European Championship.

Clubs are currently permitted to have five substitutes and an increase was opposed by some as they feared it would favour the bigger clubs, but the Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, believes one of the consequences will be to give greater opportunity to home-grown players.

"It should mean that younger players from the academy can be given an opportunity to break into the first team," Levy said. "We at Tottenham have promoted and lobbied for this rule change and we are delighted our proposal was supported by member clubs. It is important that there is a level playing field across all competitions.

"We constantly refer to ourselves as the most attractive footballing league in the world, but in order to maintain that label and improve our competitive edge it is important to give our managers and coaches greater choice on the substitute bench, enabling them to be more creative tactically."