Premier League clubs have once again voted against the introduction of five substitutes following a shareholders’ meeting including the representative sides today.
English football’s leading sides were permitted to use up to five substitutes following the return of the Premier League from a three-month hiatus in June, with the additional replacements designed to help clubs deal with the unprecedented break in the season and congested schedule.
Despite European football’s major leagues – alongside the Champions League and Europa League – keeping the five-sub rule in place for the current campaign, Premier League sides voted in favour of a return to using just three substitutes, with clubs believing additional replacements handed an advantage to the bigger sides with deeper squads.
It has proven a huge source of debate with several leading figures – including Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola – having called for a rethink over the ruling, whilst England manager Gareth Southgate also urged clubs to reconsider their initial vote following an increase in injuries across the division.
Having twice voted in majority against the five substitute ruling, the prospect of additional replacements was once again put towards clubs today with Liverpool manager Klopp having revealed last month that as many as six Premier League managers had ‘changed their mind’ given the mounting injuries.
However, the proposal has failed to meet the 14 votes in favour required to enforce change for a third time, though Premier League sides will now be able to name an increased number of nine players on the bench.
There was also positive news over the prospect of concussion substitutions, with permanent replacements set to be permitted in the event of head injuries, even if all substitutions have already been used.
Opposition sides will also be able to make a change at the same time in the event of a concussion substitute, to avoid potential abuse of the ruling.