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City, Liverpool pushing for five subs in the EPL

Man City and Liverpool lobbying to have five subs reinstated in the EPL

October 31, 2020 By Ali M.
England top sides are pushing for five substitutions to be reintroduced in order to protect the welfare of the players amid increasing muscular injuries.

According to the Daily Mail, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are leading the push to reintroduce five substitutions in the Premier League. Man City and Liverpool are both said to be concerned about the well-being of the players after the decision to revert back to the standard three substitutions and are lobbying to enforce change.

During Project Restart, the initiative that saw the 2019/20 Premier League season return from its COVID-19 suspension, the numbers of subs permitted per game was increased to five. This move was made in order for teams to cope with the congested fixtures lists as Europe's domestic leagues, as well as the UCL and UEL, scrammed to wrap up the campaign.

However, when it came time to vote on whether this rule change should be kept intact for this season, the majority voted against the motion. Many felt the five-substitution rule handed an unfair advantage to the elite clubs with larger and more star-studded squad and thus opted to have it scrapped.

However, with muscular injuries increasing, England top-six sides are pushing to have the rule re-instated. One of the most invigorating aspect in the eyes of those in favor of five substitutions is that this rule remained intact in Europe's other major leagues but not in the English top-flight.

Speaking on this issue, Citizens boss Pep Guardiola said: "It's about protecting all Premier League players and the statistics speak for themselves - almost 50 per cent more muscular injuries than last season.

"Why? Because the players play and recover from the previous game but maybe not from the previous season.

"It has to be the managers or the association of the football players (the PFA) to decide whether it's three or five substitutions.

"Why all around the world is it happening but here, which is more demanding for many reasons, we cannot protect the players?"

Klopp and Solskjaer, managers who are or have dealt with injury issues this term, have also spoken up about their frustrations. IFAB (International Football Association Board), football's lawmakers, said they would not prohibit a mid-season rule change should EPL clubs agree to reintroduce five subs. However, 14 top-flight clubs must vote in favor of this motion in order to get it reinstated.

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