Premier League clubs vote in concussion rule change that will affect Sheffield United

Sheffield United, and their fellow Premier League clubs, will be allowed to use permanent concussion substitutes as part of an ongoing trial.

Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 3:41 pm

The 20 top-flight clubs have today agreed to take part in an initiative approved by the International Football Association Board in December.

As The Star revealed this week, United – who face Plymouth this weekend in the fourth round FA Cup – were poised to vote in favour of the proposals, designed to prevent players from suffering traumatic brain injuries.

United voted against proposals to increase the number of regular substitutes to five per game earlier this season, but boss Chris Wilder has signalled his support for a change in the law in the event of suspected concussion.

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"I've talked long and hard about my opposition to the five subs (rule) and, as I keep saying, I don't think there's been enough stats or clear, credible evidence that we need to change that,” he said recently.

"In terms of the concussion one, that is obviously plain to see regarding a quick examination by the medical staff and doctors that that player needs to be replaced. I'll leave that with the medical staff."

John Egan and Max Lowe have both suffered concussion for the Blades this season, with Lowe being forced off just minutes into his Premier League debut against Fulham late last year.

A Premier League statement said: "Premier League Shareholders today formally agreed to introduce the International Football Association Board's (IFAB) additional permanent concussion substitutions trial."

Max Lowe was diagnosed with concussion following a clash during Sheffield United's game against Fulham: Andrew Yates/Sportimage

It continued: "The trial will be confirmed when the implementation of the reporting processes, including private medical information, has been resolved with IFAB and FIFA.

"With player welfare the Premier League's priority, the protocols will allow a maximum of two concussion substitutes to be used per team, with the opposition side able to use the equivalent number.

"The additional concussion substitutions may be made regardless of the number of substitutions a team has already made.

"The trial is a result of the IFAB's consultation with stakeholders and recommendations from their concussion expert group to allow additional substitutions for players with actual or suspected concussion."