The Scottish Professional Football League has announced that cinch Premiership clubs will be allowed to use five substitutes in league matches for the remainder of the season.

The SPFL circulated a written resolution to top-flight clubs asking whether they wished to continue with three subs only or to increase the number permitted to five.

The decision has now been approved after it was voted for by nine of the 12 clubs. The move will also allow managers to name a bench of up to nine players, with a decision on its future beyond this season due in March.

According to the SPFL, the freedom to use additional subs is being implemented to "support player welfare and assist with the congested fixture schedule given the possibility of postponements due to weather conditions or Covid-19".


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The use of up to five substitutes is already permitted in League 2 and the SPFL is consulting with Championship and League 1 clubs over whether to change the rules in those divisions.

A spokesman for the SPFL said: "FIFA has allowed each league to determine its own rules regarding substitutes since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

"As a members' organisation, it is key that clubs in each division are able to make decisions on issues such as this for themselves."

The new rule will be in place from Monday’s Premiership match between Celtic and Hibernian and for the remainder of the current season.