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Wednesday, September 17, 2008
League to ponder introduction of academy subs

The Premier League will look at the possibility of introducing a rule for clubs to include two academy graduates among their seven-man bench.

A proposal was put before the League this summer as part of an overall debate about substitutes but was eventually overlooked during the sanctioning of seven replacements, an increase from the previous five.

While there have been no in-depth discussions on the matter since, the Premier League are still broadly supportive of the idea, which comes as FIFA and UEFA step up their own plans for home-grown players to provide the bedrock of all major teams.

At present, 14 Premier League clubs, a two-thirds majority, would be needed to pass such a rule, although the proposals itself could be made centrally.

Currently a working group within the Premier League are formulating detailed proposals in response to UEFA's recommendations and will make an announcement in due course.

One of the obvious drawbacks of a scheme to include academy players on the substitutes' bench is that some clubs may have two such men in their starting 11 but fall foul of the rule because they do not have replacements as well.

''This is something that has been discussed in the past and may be looked at again - but there is no fixed timetable as yet,'' said a Premier League spokesman.




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