Premier League clubs ‘to block return to five subs’ despite ‘Big Six’ demands

Many Premier League clubs reportedly remain firmly opposed to re-introducing the five substitutions rule despite mounting pressure from certain 'Big Six' sides.

Five changes were allowed per team as football returned in Project Restart last summer, as top-flight chiefs aimed to lessen the burden on players after the lengthy lay-off during lockdown.

However, clubs voted against continuing the rule ahead of the current campaign, with claims it would give top sides with greater depth an advantage.

Given recent injuries to big-name stars and the packed fixture schedule, there have been a growing number of calls to allow five substitutions per match.

Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are among the 'Big Six' managers to voice their concerns about player welfare.

Nonetheless, many Premier League clubs remain in opposition to the rule, according to the Daily Mail , which adds any mid-season change is highly unlikely.

In order for five substitutions to be re-introduced, at least 14 of the 20 clubs would need to vote in favour of the change at a meeting of Premier League stakeholders.

United boss Solskjaer has regularly criticised United's hectic scheduled and called for more than the regular three substitutions to be allowed after his side's 3-1 victory at Everton on Saturday.

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“One hundred per cent," Solskjaer said when asked if he would support five substitutions. "I don’t understand and I cannot believe the vote went against because we have to look after the players.

“We have to think about the players. This season is the most demanding season of all.

“I can see the point why clubs voted against but if you take a step back and think about these professional footballers and their mental and physical health the only sensible solution would have been to give us the opportunity to rest a few more.

“We have already seen a lot of injuries in the Premier League. I would have liked to have five subs.”

Are you for or against the re-introduction of the five substitutions rule? Have your say here.

Meanwhile, Guardiola says the five substitutions rule was the main topic of conversation as he talked with Liverpool manager Klopp after the 1-1 draw on Sunday.

The City boss said: “We didn’t speak about the result. We spoke about how we need to fight again and again for five substitutions.

“Look, an international England player, Trent Alexander-Arnold, he’s injured. All around the world, there are five substitutions.

“But here we believe we are more special people and [use] just three players. We don’t protect the players.

“That’s why it’s a disaster with this calendar. I will demand, if the people allow my voice, to come back with five substitutions.

“It will help the players, the managers and everywhere to do it. If not it’s difficult to sustain it.”

Liverpool right-back Alexander-Arnold was forced off with a calf injury just after the hour mark, while later on Sunday Arsenal star Thomas Partey was substituted at half-time with a calf injury.

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