English Premier League is now facing great pressure to re-introduce the rule of five substitutions per game, which has been imposed by the entire major European leagues since the restart. The issue rises again recently after the medical staffs of the club concerns about the sudden increase of injuries and possible player burnouts as the schedules remain tight during the world pandemic. It is mainly due to the delayed major competitions from last year, Euro 2020, Copa America 2020 and the Olympic Games. Discussions on this plan have been growing among the clubs’ internal staff lately, especially since the EFL championship has decided to change the rule from three to five like the rest of Europe. Therefore, it is only natural that Premier League does the same, which the clubs are now attempting to push it.
Unfortunately, it might not be easy to overturn the situation as Premier League board thinks the opposite. According to Richard Masters, Premier League Chief Executives, who was inquired on such issue recently, there seems to be no way of changing it in the near future.
“We have had two votes on it at club level and both have been relatively supportive of three subs.That has created some frustration, alongside discussions of fixture scheduling, which is related to the pandemic. There is a real issue and I don’t foresee it changing in the foreseeable future.”, Richard Masters stated.
The rule of five substitutions itself came to the surface after the restart of football in May 2020. Initiated by Bundesliga which began the earliest, then the rest of Europe afterwards, such rule was already apart of the regulations after the lockdown and endures until now as FIFA does give permission to it as well.
Meanwhile, in England, it became a great issue before the 2020/21 season started. There was a disagreement over the rule.
It led to the emergence of two sides, the Big Six clubs, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea, which are supporting it, and the remaining ones on the other side of the pole. Those fourteen clubs which won the vote previously thought that the rule was more in favour of the big teams with better squads than themselves.
Nevertheless, they currently seem to regret the decision since not only the players’ health is in danger but also the English football itself.