London (AFP) – Premier League clubs will be able to make five substitutions from the 2022/23 season after they belatedly agreed to the rule change on Thursday.
Teams in the English top flight were allowed to make five changes for the final stages of the 2019/20 season due to fixture congestion caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
However, unlike other major leagues and European competitions, the rule then reverted to three substitutions per side due to fears that extra changes gave an advantage to the bigger clubs with deeper squads.
“From next season, clubs will be permitted to use five substitutions, to be made on three occasions during a match, with an additional opportunity at half-time,” the Premier League said in a statement.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola were outspoken critics of the previous refusal to adopt the change given the demands placed upon players by the English game.
“All around the world there is five substitutions. Here we believe we are a special league with just three players, we don’t protect the players,” Guardiola said last season.
Klopp even accused Premier League CEO Richard Masters of a “lack of leadership” over the matter, saying: “It’s not an advantage, it’s a necessity.”
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