Ten Premier League clubs have opted against the implementation of five substitutions for the remainder of the season.
The news will come as a bitter blow to the managers who stressed the importance of the five subs for player welfare. Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp have been quite vocal in their frustrations in only being allowed to use three substitutions in games throughout the 2020/2021 season.
Aston Villa, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Leeds United, Newcastle United, Leicester City, Fulham, West Ham United, Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers all voted against the introduction of five substitutions at a recent Premier League shareholders’ meeting.
The decision will come as a surprise to many football followers. All other major European leagues have decided to continue with the five subs per game that was implemented following the return of football in June. It is also used in competitive international fixtures and European club competitions, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League.
While Klopp and Guardiola have consistently shown their dismay at other clubs for not supporting the rule, smaller clubs feel that the five substitutions rule breaks up the game and allows traditionally bigger clubs to utilise their firepower off the bench.
A minimum of 14 clubs would need to support the motion for it to be passed.
Clubs have decided to allow concussion substitutions, however. They will be able to make up to two additional substitutions if a player is suspected to be suffering from concussion. The news comes in light of the fractured skull Wolves striker Raul Jimenez suffered in a 1-1 draw with Arsenal earlier this season.