The leasing.com Trophy rules that Sunderland MUST follow - as Jack Ross plots changes against Grimsby Town
Jack Ross is set to make changes to his Sunderland side against Grimsby Town tomorrow evening - but he will have to ensure he follows the stringent leasing.com Trophy rules.
The Black Cats will inevitably make changes for the clash, with Ross keen to rotate his squad in the aftermath of a disappointing defeat at Lincon City.
But the Scot's selection will be somewhat dictated by the rules of the leasing.com Trophy, which place restrictions on the strength of squads that EFL sides must play.
Here's everything you need to know about the leasing.com Trophy squad selection rules ahead of Sunderland's clash with Grimsby:
What are the leasing.com Trophy squad selection rules?
The competition rules state that Sunderland will have to play their 'Full Available Strength in and during all Matches' in the leasing.com Trophy.
Full Available Strength' means that the club has to ensure that at least four of its ten outfield players are classed as 'qualifying players'.
There are no restrictions over the goalkeeper, meaning Jack Ross will be free to switch his choice between the sticks if he wishes.
What is a 'qualifying player' in the leasing.com Trophy?
Players can hit several criteria to ensure they qualify as one of the four players Sunderland must include in their leasing.com Trophy squad.
Any player who started at Lincoln on Sunday - or goes on to start against Wycombe in a fortnight- is classed as a qualifying player.
Furthermore, each of the Black Cats' top ten appearance makers during the season are also designated as qualifying players.
Finally, any player who has made forty or more starting appearances in first team fixtures or international equivalents throughout their entire career also meets the criteria.
That means there are plenty of ways for Sunderland stars to hit the qualifying criteria, which means it should be easy for Ross to ensure he names a suitable squad to satisfy these rules.
What happens if clubs break the leading.com Trophy squad selection rules?
EFL regulations state that any club that breaches these rules will be subject to a fine of up to £5,000.