Professional Soccer/(European Football)/Substitutes


Many Football League Managers these days bemoan the fact they can't fill a full substitutes bench of 7 players due to injuries and suspensions. What is stopping them filling vacant gaps with ANY reserve team or youth player ?

Hi Richard,

There is nothing to stop a manager putting reserve or youth team players on the bench. They could use the tea boy as long as they registered him as a player for the applicable competition.

Football League clubs actually voted in favour of the reintroduction of seven substitutes for last season. Managers of the 72 member clubs were only allowed five options from the bench in 2011-12.

The move to reduce bench sizes to five in 2011 came in a bid to bring down costs, with many teams struggling to fund large squads. However, the decision proved unpopular among many managers, as it limited options from the bench as well as denying some youth team players the chance to gain exposure in the first team.

Hope this helps,

Best wishes,

Mark Smith.

Professional Soccer/(European Football)

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Mark Smith


I have a fairly extensive knowledge of English Football. I attended my first game in 1967 and have been to hundreds since. My particular areas of interest are the history of the game, statistics, records, trivia and stadium information.


Over 40 years of watching and reading about the game.

Nothing football related.

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