Top-flight clubs vote down five-subs rule

Thursday, 3 September, 2020 35comments  |  Jump to last
The Premier League's 20 clubs have elected not to carry forward the regulation that permitted the use of up to five substitutes into the 2020-21 season.

With players emerging from a three-month layoff in June following the Covid-19 shutdown and the clubs' remaining games shoe-horned into a compressed six-week schedule, a rule was introduced which would expand the number of permitted subs during matches to five from three.

Initially, the League's members opted to continue with that option for the new season but they voted against it at a meeting today.  

Reader Comments (35)

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Rob Young
1 Posted 03/09/2020 at 19:29:17
At what time tonight do we expect Klop to moan about this?
Steve Ferns
2 Posted 03/09/2020 at 19:36:03
Good. The rule was another step towards American Football. 3 subs is more than enough.
Dan Nulty
3 Posted 03/09/2020 at 19:43:22
I think short sighted personally, season will be condensed and with our injury history I'd prefer lessening the burden on the starting 11 which we will probably need to keep as consistent as possible if we are to do well.

Could have agreed to go back to 3 for next season.

We seem to have this fascination with not meddling with football. I don't understand it.

Kieran Kinsella
4 Posted 03/09/2020 at 20:00:21
Dan Nulty

The top teams wanted five subs, the rest didn't. The reason being that Man City could switch out half their team or even their entire team and bring players with equally ability. Sheffield United or Brighton could not.

So they'd struggle on with a best but tired 11 or bring on fresh but not as good players to battle City's endless supply of fresh quality players. That worry apart, I am against more subs as it is often just another time-wasting device that breaks up the game.

Dan Nulty
5 Posted 03/09/2020 at 20:35:53
I completely get that, Kieran. I don't think that should prevent people from doing it at the expense of potential injuries to smaller squads but I understand it.

There is a really easy way for it to stop being a time-wasting device. I have absolutely no idea why they do not have the stadium clock stopped at the same points the referee stops their watch. Stop it for injuries, subs, having to stop the game to sort a situation out etc.

I really, really do not understand why they do that. Blow the whistle at 90, everyone knows exactly how long is left, no-one can complain about whether it should have been 3 or 7 minutes added on.

Kieran Kinsella
6 Posted 03/09/2020 at 20:40:37

In an ideal world, they could do extra subs as they used to in rugby in the event of an injury. But I think that came to an end when someone put fake blood over his face to get subbed. I see your point and it's a tough call either way.

Tony Everan
7 Posted 03/09/2020 at 20:46:35
Three subs is enough and it is fair; otherwise, the big quality squads will have a very unfair advantage.

Dan, I like your idea about the clock stopping so time-wasting through substitutions or whatever is futile. It's a blight on the game and needs stamping out, it would sort it.

Dan Nulty
8 Posted 03/09/2020 at 20:59:03
Yeah you can't say for injuries only for an extra two subs as footballers fake injuries when they don't need to already, it would only encourage them.

Bloodgate was horrendous for rugby; when sport becomes a business, people will cheat to get an advantage sadly.

As I said, I understand the squad depth argument. For me, you can afford muscle injuries less in small or poor squads, as we well know, so, if we can minimise workload, then we should take it.

Interesting as upsides and downsides either way. It would also help our teams playing in Europe, interesting that other European leagues try and help their clubs in those competitions whereas we seem to have the attitude: 'Tough shit, you did well and have to suffer the consequences'.

Patrick McFarlane
9 Posted 03/09/2020 at 21:10:37
As an aside to this substitutions decision, I've just read that the neighbours have temporarily suspended the sales of season tickets and will instead sell their games on a match-by-match basis when the conditions allow. I wonder if they know something that we don't or have they found a way of making more cash from the situation?
Kieran Kinsella
10 Posted 03/09/2020 at 21:28:47

I would have thought that their season tickets would already have sold out. Their den of iniquity isn't massive.

Rob Halligan
11 Posted 03/09/2020 at 21:39:53
John (Patrick), I guess when around 95% of your season ticket holders come from outside Merseyside, it's obvious they would want to suspend all season ticket sales. After all, they don't want to be selling season tickets to fans from Norway or the home counties who will have no chance of getting to games that will probably not allow fans, only to refund them.

(I fully expect this post to be removed by the editors.)

Patrick McFarlane
12 Posted 03/09/2020 at 21:40:13
I agree, Kieran, I found it a little surprising too. Perhaps, they have more season ticket 'sellers' in their fan-base, ie, those that hang on to their tickets without ever setting foot in the ground and look to profit from the tourist trade?
Kieran Kinsella
13 Posted 03/09/2020 at 21:49:47
May well be true, Patrick. At least we know our 30,000 plus buyers are solid.
Jack Convery
14 Posted 03/09/2020 at 21:57:21
Justin Doone
15 Posted 03/09/2020 at 22:09:10
I'm happy and agree 3 subs should be the maximum allowed.

However, it had its usefulness and I'm sure the Qatar World Cup will see it reintroduced. I'd have no issue with that either as long as the time keeping is improved around it.

VAR however...

Will Mabon
16 Posted 03/09/2020 at 22:27:25
The right decision.
Alex Gray
17 Posted 03/09/2020 at 22:32:24
Apparently Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea voted to keep the subs which speaks large volumes. Right decision.
Steve Carse
18 Posted 03/09/2020 at 22:57:03
Dan (8), why on earth should we be wanting to help other English sides compete in Europe? You think Liverpool winning 6 European Cup trophies has been good for Everton then, and would like to raise their chances of winning more through the introduction of means like 5 subs in domestic competition?

Football is a cut-throat business now. You don't get anywhere by assisting other clubs in becoming ever more strong in their resources.

Colin Glassar
19 Posted 03/09/2020 at 23:04:21
Good. Screw the rich!
Ian Campbell
20 Posted 03/09/2020 at 23:41:09
Dan and Tony, the 'stopping the clock' scenario is a slippery slope to having commercials midway through a half, like they do in various US sports.

Also, the time would need to be reduced to about 65 mins of playing time to account for how long the ball is actually in play.

Derek Knox
21 Posted 04/09/2020 at 05:32:50
Yes, good decision, which – like many have said – only favoured those sides with an embarrassment of riches in their squads.
Dan Nulty
22 Posted 04/09/2020 at 06:50:41
Ian, I'm not suggesting they stop the clock every time the ball is out of play. The referee is supposed to stop his watch for injuries. I think they add on 30 seconds per sub also. Why bother? Just stop the watch, stop the clock.

The sub can take as long as he wants to get off. The player can roll around for 5 minutes if he so chooses, pretending to be injured, and it has zero effect on time. Makes no sense to me not to do that. Stops a lot of the gamesmanship straight away.

Dan Nulty
23 Posted 04/09/2020 at 06:54:32
Steve, we wouldn't be arguing against helping clubs in Europe if we were in the Champions League every season. We just sound like a bunch of bitter losers in my view.

Jay Evans
24 Posted 04/09/2020 at 06:54:36
Good. What a load of absolute plop. Along with ‘drinks' breaks.

But it's okay, you have the option of added crowd noise so it's like being there.

Fans back ASAP please, Everton.

Chris Leyland
25 Posted 04/09/2020 at 07:15:21

The problem with introducing rules to help clubs in Europe is that it further maintains their monopoly on the Champion's League places and stops other teams from breaking the cycle other.

The system is already rigged against anyone being able to break the monopoly on a regular basis because of so-called ‘Financial Fair Play' which in reality is anything but what its name suggests.

Five subs benefits those teams who are in the Champion's League already and can effectively rest their players and keep their bigger squads happier and rotated.

Under the guise of progress, it is in fact perpetuating the status quo.

Dan Nulty
26 Posted 04/09/2020 at 08:35:32
Fair point, Chris. I do understand that point of view. I just think – with our injury record and the lack of European football – the extra subs would help protect some of our players.

I do wonder about our training or medical staff and what it is that seems to make us the most injury-prone club out there.

Benn Chambers
27 Posted 04/09/2020 at 08:36:00
Great news. It only benefited Man City and the likes, with 2 starting 11s.

On the plus side for Everton, if we don't manage to shift them, it limits the amount of time we have to see Davies, Delph, Bolasie, Besic, etc etc. I'd imagine Davies will get his loan move because he's gonna need it. He's not gonna play here.

The other 3 plus Sandro and possibly Sigurdsson, Bernard, Walcott and Tosun, I'd be suprised if the majority of them are still here come the close of the transfer window.

Ray Roche
28 Posted 04/09/2020 at 09:11:12
This may be a controversial idea but I'd like to see all substitutions banned for the final 10 minutes of every game, regardless of the reason. Okay, on rare occasions a player will be genuinely injured, he can go off for treatment and, if he can't come back, then tough.

I'm sick of seeing two or three subs being made to “run the clock down “ at the end of each game, disrupting the flow and killing the excitement. Apart from killing the game, how does a substitute entering the fray 3 minutes into 4 minutes of added time achieve anything other than that?

And don't get me started on players feigning injury!! Lying there slapping the pitch due to the pain? WTF? Drag the twat off and break both of his legs so he'll know what real pain is like. 😡

Aidan Wade
29 Posted 04/09/2020 at 14:32:47
Cui bono? Increasing the subs allowed would be flagrant self-interest from the clubs with the big squads.

This site lists the most expensive bench by each club, and it aligns fairly well with the overall Premier League position. Man City's bench at Aston Villa cost £368 million.

Peter Neilson
30 Posted 05/09/2020 at 19:10:40
Klopp double speak in the past week, as ever unquestioned by the media.

“Yes [I’m in favour]. I know the discussion will then go again of whether it is an advantage for the bigger clubs,” he said post-game.

“Look, I don’t discuss it from that point of view, I don’t want to have an advantage in the competition or whatever. We have 38 Premier League games in a four-week-shorter season, that says it all.

“All the other competitions will be pretty much the same as far as I know, so that means that these things will help.”

Patrick McFarlane
32 Posted 05/09/2020 at 20:19:04
Unsurprisingly perhaps, I'd read earlier this week that Arsenal were hoping to open parts of their stadium fairly soon and now the Mail is reporting that Spurs are contemplating the opening of their more exclusive areas for 'fans' to view next weeks opener against Everton.

I suppose that means that the more ordinary, less well-heeled souls will have to wait a little longer? Who said the Premier League was all about money?

Fans to attend first game?

Rob Halligan
33 Posted 05/09/2020 at 20:29:07
John (Patrick), surely it's down to the government who decide when fans can be allowed back into stadiums, and not the clubs themselves?
Joe McMahon
34 Posted 05/09/2020 at 20:41:33
Patrick, The Emirates is one of the few London stadiums I've been to, (and possibly the best football stadium I've been to). As it's huge and modern, there is plenty of space, and I found the same at the Etihad. You also mentioned Spurs.

It's possibly that there certainly is more space both inside and outside the ground compared to our Victorian Archibald Leitch cramped seats and pillars.

I personally don't see it about certain clubs, just their stadiums. Had we already been in Kings Dock, we would be joining them.

Patrick McFarlane
35 Posted 05/09/2020 at 20:56:12
I wasn't decrying the fact that both North London clubs are aiming to allow supporters into the ground. It's the fact that it's those that will cost those clubs the most money by their absence, that they are trying to get back into the stadium.

Rob #33,

It will have to be approved by the local authority and or government agencies before any supporters are allowed into any stadium.

Steve Clay
36 Posted 09/09/2020 at 19:14:33
When I were a lad...
No substitutions. Keepers playing with broken necks. Fekin snowflakes...

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