PFA Scotland - 13th June 2024 - PFA Scotland welcomes Concussion Substitutes

PFA Scotland - 13th June 2024 - PFA Scotland welcomes Concussion Substitutes

13 June 2024

PFA Scotland welcome in the introduction of permanent concussion substitutes across all senior SPFL competitions.

Yesterday, at an SPFL board meeting, clubs unanimously voted in favour of the rule, following a recommendation from the Competitions Working Group. This means that each team will be allowed one concussion substitute per match in addition to the normal number of substitutes and substitution opportunities. If that concussion substitute is used, the other team is allowed an additional substitute. This follows a trial of permanent concussion substitutes in the Premiership, which first launched in March 2021.

PFA Scotland, alongside FIFPRO, have been pushing for more support in this area over recent years. Protection for players is paramount and recent evidence suggests that change is required to prevent harm for head injuries for professionals across the globe.

PFA Scotland’s Chief Executive, Fraser Wishart, has welcomed the expansion of the concussions substitutes to all four professional leagues in Scotland, stating:

“I’m pleased to hear that all member clubs have unanimously approved of this rule. PFA Scotland have been one of the most prominent organisations calling for change around these rules and this is certainly a welcomed development.

Players are no more likely to suffer concussion in the Premiership as they are in League 2, so it’s crucial we have protection for our players at all levels. It’s a positive message from IFAB to incorporate this into the laws of the game and particularly positive that the trials in Scotland have been a success. We will be continuing to work alongside FIFPRO to ensure that we are putting our members health and wellbeing at the very forefront of the game.”

Research has shown that former professional footballers are between 3.5 and 5 times more likely to suffer from a neuro degenerative disease later in life.

Fraser added that everyone involved in the governance of the game has a duty of care for those laying the game professionally today.

“All stakeholders have a duty to work to protect our members’ health and safety in the workplace. We all therefore have a duty to current and future players to mitigate the potential dangers and try to reduce those instances and the introduction of permanent concussion substitutes is just the first step in that process.”

You can read more about reporting concussion, here.