Chesterfield call for seven substitutes in National League next season

Chesterfield have written to the National League requesting clubs be allowed to name seven substitutes next season.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 3:43 pm

Teams could only name five substitutes in a matchday squad and bring on three during a game in the last campaign.

This was despite Football League club being able to use five and name seven. Those in the Championship were allowed as many as nine on the bench.

Manager James Rowe has spoken about the issue numerous times during the season, making the point that seven subs should be allowed just as other ‘elite’ leagues do.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Chesterfield manager James Rowe.

With teams only allowed to name five players on the bench, many managers, including Rowe, choose not to name a goalkeeper among the subs so as not to limit their outfield options.

Goalkeeper James Montgomery had to play the last half an hour of Chesterfield’s play-off quarter-final defeat against Notts County injured because the Spireites had no other keeper to call upon.

Leading 2-1 before Montgomery got injured, the Blues may very well have gone on and won the tie had they had another stopper to bring on.

Notts are another club who want the rule changing and Magpies boss Ian Burchnall has called for change.

“I think it's absolutely Mickey Mouse that the league doesn't allow seven substitutes,” he told Nottinghamshire Live earlier this month.

"It's a difficult decision then for a coach to make and I actually understand why James Rowe was frustrated by not having seven subs and so was I before the game.

“In the end, it worked against them and worked for us, but I still don't like that as a decision.

“If you look at any of the other leagues, the EFL has had seven subs and increased that to nine during Covid and five of those can play.”

In other news, Chesterfield have sold almost 2,000 season tickets so far for the 2021/2022 campaign with the ‘early bird’ period finishing at the end of this month.

The Technique Stadium pitch is set to relayed to ensure Rowe’s men have a better surface to play on and the new Puma kit will be in the club shop early next month.