The Premier League is set to introduce five substitutions from next season, according to a report. The English Premier League’s clubs are expected to vote on the issue at a meeting in London on Thursday.
According to The Times, from the start of next season, each team will be allowed to make up to five replacements during a game, if the vote does indeed go ahead. The so-called ‘bigger’ teams have been in favor of this all season, but the ‘smaller’ sides were against it, feeling as if it gives the wealthier clubs an advantage.
Due to the coronavirus epidemic, teams in EPL were allowed to make up to five changes every game during the Premier League’s ‘Project Restart.’
However, once the lockdown was lifted, so was the rule. As it stands, the Premier League is the only League among the top 5 leagues in Europe to have 3 substitutions per game.
Premier League Managers that have backed the Five subs rule
Mikel Arteta (Arsenal)
Mikel Arteta backed the return of the five-sub rule at the start of November 2020, saying he would “strongly support” the decision not only to protect his players but also to allow the Premier League to give the fans the “best show possible”.
More recently, the Spanish tactician has once again urged his counterparts to push the rule over the line, insisting Premier League players need more physical and mental help.
“We have to protect (players) as much as possible, they are the protagonists in this industry,” Arteta said before Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Leeds United.
“We have to modify the rules and make them a little more flexible to give them a better opportunity to be fit, physically and mentally. Let’s just do it, please.”
Graham Potter (Brighton And Hove Albion)
Brighton boss Graham Potter has been a strong advocate of the five-sub rule.
Speaking in a post-match interview he said: “We were asked to vote about how we can make the problem a little bit easier,”
“It seemed like five subs were the sensible thing to do, bearing in mind we did that at the back end of last year.
“You look at this season and think it’s a shorter season, the internationals are going to play more because there are more games in the break.
“We’re going into winter so there is more chance of catching Covid, there might be more positive tests and more isolation, it will be a bigger push on players.
“The fact that we’re in lockdown means that from a mental health perspective if you’ve got a lot of players from overseas, they won’t see their family, they’re here to play football and that can be quite challenging.
“There are lots of things going on and that’s why I thought the five subs rule was quite a sensible one to alleviate the problem.”
Thomas Tuchel (Chelsea)
Speaking in December of last year, with the Blues struggling with injuries and Covid cases at the time, Tuchel said: “For us, it’s the same situation as for anyone else
“We have concerns because we are not only football players and coaches, we are also fathers and have family members so we are also concerned and have doubts and fears. Still, we are privileged to do our jobs and do what we love the most so it’s kind of in-between. I’m very impressed with how the team takes it.
“You know very well that the situation was very different when we arrived in Wolverhampton and had seven positive tests in three days. We had the feeling that we had an outbreak and wanted some time to deal with it mentally and to settle the team down. That was not the case and we lived with it. We tried to be as supportive as possible.
“I just can say on this occasion I would love to push for five substitutions because five substitutions were made to protect the players when coronavirus popped up and made life difficult. I think the situation is very serious and very challenging so if we decided to keep on playing at least we should have five changes to control the load.”
Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Jurgen Klopp has been a vocal supporter of the rule change. He restated his position earlier this month ahead of Liverpool‘s Champions League match against Inter Milan.
“We played Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Tuesday. That’s a horrible schedule,” he told a press conference. “If we can make changes, we will do that. If it’s not, it’s not. We must go again for the five subs.
“In one competition we don’t have that. It makes so much difference. I don’t see why it takes so long to understand that. The Premier League have to save their top players as well. It’s not an advantage. It’s about the quality of football.”
Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, when speaking last year, said it was “ridiculous” that England was the only country to be limited to just three changes during a match. “It is not about one club, there are statistics that you cannot deny,” Guardiola said.
“Premier League players have 47 percent more muscular injuries than the previous season due to a lack of preparation, and the number of games. All the other leagues – Germany, Spain, have five substitutions to protect the players, not one team or one set of players.
“Because of the pandemic, the reality now is completely different and we have to readjust and intelligent people adjust.”
Ralf Rangnick(Manchester United)
“The five subs were implemented when Covid started, and I think it was the right decision to do that to save energy for players, especially if they have just recovered from Covid,” said Rangnick.
The same is true right now – we are in a similar situation to the one we had one-and-a-half years ago, therefore I don’t see why it shouldn’t be as it was one-and-a-half years ago. As far as I know, in Europe, England is the only country where they only allow three subs.
“I think it would be of great help to have five subs. I would be much more in favor of having five subs. I think we should seriously think about that again. Most of the players would be in favor of that.”