EXC: Premier League's lesser clubs plan to BLOCK return to five subs

EXCLUSIVE: Premier League’s lesser clubs still plan to BLOCK a switch back to five substitutes – with any potential vote struggling to get enough backing despite Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp’s demands for a rule change

  • Last season Premier League clubs voted to allow for five substitutions in a match
  • This was following the football restart and the impact of coronavirus for injuries
  • But, this term the Premier League voted to return to three substitutes-a-game
  • Smaller sides believe it gives bigger teams an unfair advantage with five subs

There remains major opposition towards re-introducing the five substitutes rule from Premier League clubs, Sportsmail understands.

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have called on the footballing authorities to bring back the rule allowing clubs to make five substitutions, which was brought in during Project Restart to aid play welfare.

There is known to be a swell of support from the top-flight’s elite clubs to get the law reintroduced.

Most of the Premier League clubs remain opposed to bringing back the five-substitutes rule

Last season clubs had agreed to allow for five substitutes during a game following the restart

But Sportsmail understands there is still significant opposition from the Premier League’s lesser clubs towards increasing the number of permitted substitutions because they feel it provides an unfair advantage to clubs with deeper squads.

For a rule change to be implemented, the issue would need to be raised at a Premier League stakeholders meeting, which it hasn’t as of yet.

Fourteen clubs would then be required to vote in favour of the rule change – but there is said to be significant doubt that any motion to allow five substitutes would reach that threshold.

Likewise, any change in rules mid-way through the season would raise significant integrity issues, particularly after clubs voted in favour of returning to three substitutes ahead of the new season.

However, lesser clubs believe it gave the bigger sides an unfair advantage due to their depth

After Manchester City’s 1-1 draw against Liverpool on Sunday, Guardiola said of a post-match conversation with Klopp: ‘We didn’t speak about the result. We spoke about how we need to fight again and again for five substitutions.

‘Look, an international England player, Trent Alexander-Arnold, he’s injured. All around the world, there are five substitutions.

‘But here we believe we are more special people and [use] just three players. We don’t protect the players.

‘That’s why it’s a disaster with this calendar. I will demand, if the people allow my voice, to come back with five substitutions.

‘It will help the players, the managers and everywhere to do it. If not it’s difficult to sustain it.’

Managers Jurgen Klopp (left) and Pep Guardiola have both called for five subs to be reinstated

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