Premier League clubs could be forced to fulfil their fixtures with squads of just 15 fit players in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been claimed.
The Premier League is set to resume the 2019/20 season next month after clubs finally came to agreement over the necessary return protocols.
A number of health and safety measures will be in place with supporters also banned from attending matches for the foreseeable future.
Players and staff members from each club are being tested routinely with the latest round returning just four positive results from over 1,000 tests.
Should any player test positive for the virus they are then required to self-isolate for seven days.
West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady has concerns over what will happen if several members of the same squad are struck down and says that teams could line up with just four available substitutes on matchdays when play resumes.
“Well, as long as you have 15 fit players (including one goalkeeper) made up from either your 25-man squad list or from your Under-21’s you will be deemed to have a team fit enough to fulfil the fixture,” she wrote in The Sun.
“I guess that puts an end to the suggestion of having five subs, because if only 15 are needed you can’t have five subs!”
The season will get back underway with Manchester City hosting Arsenal and Aston Villa playing Sheffield United on Wednesday 17 June before a full program of fixtures the following weekend.
The Premier League have confirmed it is their intention to play games as originally intended with home and away matches “where possible” with police identifying a select few that may be moved to neutral venues for safety reasons.