Premier League managers want five subs back

Tuesday, November 10th, 2020 00:00 |
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola. Photo/AFP

London, Monday @PeopleDailyKe

Disgruntled Premier League managers could ask for the reintroduction of five substitutes this season despite the concept being rejected twice.

A growing number of managers say they are dissatisfied at the return to three for 2020-21, after five were brought in for Project Restart in June.

The Premier League is the only major competition to return to three.

Leading managers believe the current substitution limit is contributing to injury problems.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola have both said the decision is partly responsible for a spate of muscular injuries across the top flight.

BBC Sport understands the matter has been put to the 20 clubs twice - and on neither occasion did the proposal get the minimum requirement of 14 clubs to support it.

On the last occasion, 11 clubs were in favour - and on Friday, West Ham boss David Moyes said he had changed his mind after initially backing the return to three substitutes.

Clubs have the power to bring motions forward for a vote. However, it is unlikely any club would pursue that unless they were certain of changing the current situation.

It is understood Klopp in particular feels Premier League chief executive Richard Masters should have taken the lead in driving a return to five substitutes, rather than leaving it to the clubs, who have subsequently been accused of trying to bring in a regulation that benefits them.

Another cause of angst over the weekend was scheduling of fixtures.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was furious at his team being chosen to play in the 12:30 GMT Saturday slot at Everton, having only returned from a Champions League game in Turkey on Thursday morning.

Similarly, Tottenham had a 12:00 GMT kick-off at West Brom on Sunday after a late Thursday Europa League tie in Bulgaria against Ludogorets.

Such issues are nothing new for Premier League bosses and stem from a league ruling that clubs should have two free days between matches - but once they have been afforded, broadcasters can choose whatever time they want for individual matches to be played.

In the case of Manchester United, BT Sport have the Saturday lunchtime slot and selected their fixture at Everton.

For Tottenham - who played four games in eight days during one week in September as they juggled the demands of three competitions - it appears they were given a lunchtime slot on Sunday because their game at West Brom did not have the same potential audience as the match between Arsenal and Aston Villa, which started at 19:00 GMT.Both of those matches were shown on Sky Box Office. - BBC

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