The EFL rule changes that could affect Sunderland and Charlton in the League One play-off final

Sunderland are set to face Charlton Athletic in the League One play-off final - and will have to be aware of these EFL rule changes.
The EFL play-off final rules that Sunderland and Charlton must be aware ofThe EFL play-off final rules that Sunderland and Charlton must be aware of
The EFL play-off final rules that Sunderland and Charlton must be aware of

From squad selections to extra time and fourth substitutions, the Black Cats and Addicks will be subject to differing rules now the play-offs have kicked-off.

We take a look at some of the rules - including recent changes - that could affect both sides in the play-off final:


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A winner must be decided on the day in the League One play-off final meaning that extra time will be played if required.

If the scores are level at the end of 90 minutes, then an additional 30 minutes of football shall be played.

Should Sunderland and Charlton remain tied at the end of extra time, then penalties will be taken in the traditional ABAB format.

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The league guidelines state: "In the Final, if the score is level at the end of 90 (ninety) minutes, extra time will be played, followed if necessary by the taking of kicks from the penalty mark in accordance with procedures as approved by IFAB."


This new EFL rule change means that both Sunderland and Charlton will be entitled to an extra substitute should the game progress to extra time.

The change must be made during the additional 30 minutes and could provide a fresh pair of legs for either side.

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EFL rules state: "Notwithstanding the provisions of Regulation 33.4, where any Semi-Final second leg and/or the Final match goes to extra time then each Club participating in that match will be permitted to use an additional substitute (in extra time only)."


While neither side is likely to field a weakened side in such a vital game regardless, a fairly new EFL rule prohibits any wholesale changes.

After an incident in 2017, clubs subsequently voted to add a new rule, which states: "For any league match played on or after the fourth Thursday in March, any team sheet for a league game should include at least 10 outfield players who featured on the team sheet for the league match before."

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"In the event any club breaches the threshold, they may be charged with a breach of Regulation 24 and the matter will be referred to a disciplinary commission."

This means that Sunderland and Charlton won't be able to drastically change their squads for the play-off final, but it's unlikely either would have contemplated such a decision anyway.