The 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 Trophy rules.

Monday, 7th October 2019, 6:00 pm
Sunderland boss Jack Ross must be wary of these EFL rule changes
Sunderland boss Jack Ross must be wary of these EFL rule changes

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 Trophy, which place restrictions on the strength of squads that EFL sides must play.

Here's everything you need to know about the Trophy squad selection rules ahead of Sunderland's clash with Grimsby:

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What are the 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 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 Trophy?

Players can hit several criteria to ensure they qualify as one of the four players Sunderland must include in their 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 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.