A move to continue using five substitutes has been defeated by 11 votes to nine in a victory for the Premier League’s smaller clubs.
The rule brought in for Project Restart following the coronavirus outbreak will end after a lengthy debate at a meeting of Premier League clubs on Thursday.
The big clubs argued that the additional changes are good for player welfare and useful for clubs in European competition. However, the rest claimed that five substitutions benefit clubs with bigger squads and disrupt the flow of games.
Extending matchday squads from 18 to 20 was also rejected, with the vote tied at 10-10.
A motion to implement VAR in line with FIFA protocols on VAR was passed unanimously. It includes an increased use of referee review in the areas of red cards, goals and penalty kicks and there will be no leeway on marginal offsides.
Assistant referees will keep the flag down for close calls until a goal is scored or the chance has gone.
The clubs also agreed to set up a working group to consider ways to decide issues if the season has to be cut short. A vote on that will be taken before the new season starts.
Clubs were concerned about how many matches need to be played for the season to count. Some suggested that 50 per cent would be unfair, as some clubs may have already played the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City twice.
There was also a discussion on quotas for overseas players after Brexit. Agreement has still not been reached with the FA, who want to increase the number of homegrown players, while clubs want to ensure talent levels are not impacted.
Sources quoted Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish as saying that Belgium and Spain have few restrictions on foreign players and their national sides have outperformed England.
The Premier League are keen for fans to return when it is safe to do so and are in constant discussions with the Government over it. Pre-season friendlies have been suggested as test events.
Meanwhile, the players’ union have asked the Football League (EFL) to go to arbitration over League One and Two salary caps before the new season begins.
Clubs are due to vote on the salary cap on Friday but, in a statement, the PFA said: ‘Like everyone involved in football we want to see sustainable clubs at all levels. We absolutely understand and appreciate the huge economic pressure that clubs have come under due to the Covid-19 crisis.’
However, we have significant reservations about the measures being proposed and the speed at which these are being implemented. The introduction of a salary cap in English football represents a seismic change. It is a change that will have far-reaching and significant impacts across the professional game.’