Chelsea have submitted a proposal to the Premier League requesting the number of substitutes be increased from seven to nine as the top flight’s return nears.
The Premier League is poised to resume on 17 June following a three month hiatus due to the coronavirus, with adjustments to the substitution laws in place to reduce the risk of injury.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) have increased the number of substitutions per game from three to five, with the new law already adopted in the Bundesliga.
According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea have gone further still and submitted a proposal to the Premier League requesting that nine substitutes be permitted on the bench, on the grounds of health and wellbeing concerns.
By the time play resumes in England’s top flight, players will not have been involved in competitive action for three months. However, stars face the prospect of playing nine games in the space of just six weeks amid attempts to conclude the season as soon as possible.
The proposal will be discussed at the Premier League’s shareholder meeting on Thursday, before a vote on the issue on 11 June.
Should shareholders vote in favour of the proposal, this does not mean the number of substitutions made per game – which has already been increased to five – will increase further.
However, IFAB could yet choose to do so to improve player welfare.
The Blues returned to group training on 20 May, but N’Golo Kante was late to join up with the rest of the squad.
The French midfielder was reluctant to return due to concerns regarding coronavirus and his family, and he has been following an individual training program since coming back.
Clubs returned to full contact training following a unanimous vote on 27 May, although Kante is yet to join in with his teammates, leading to speculation he could miss Chelsea’s first game back.