Soccer

Premier League ‘blocks return to five subs’ amid Man Utd and Liverpool fury

The Premier League are reportedly remaining steadfast in their reluctance to perform a U-turn on the rule which allowed clubs to make five substitutions before the international break.

When football resumed in June, clubs were permitted to make five subs to help players with their fitness but the rule was dropped by English football chiefs ahead of the 2020/21.

Since then a number of players have suffered soft-tissue injuries and managers are fearful of long-term damage.

The Premier League's top clubs, including Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool, lost out in the vote to teams lower down the table due to concerns that the rule benefits the bigger teams who have deeper squads.

According to the Daily Mail, the Premier League is opposed to changing the rule midseason despite the complaints.

The report says the issue is yet to be raised at a Premier League stakeholders meeting, where a favourable vote from 14 clubs is needed to engineer a change.

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Speaking after the match, City boss Pep Guardiola revealed he spoke to his Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp about the need for five subs.

"We didn't speak about the result, we spoke about how we must fight again and again about five substitutions," Guardiola said.

"Look – an England international player, Trent Alexander-Arnold, he's injured. All around the world there are five substitutes but here we believe we are more special people.

"We don't protect the players and that's why it's a disaster.

"I will demand, if the people allow my voice, that we bring back five substitutions to help the players, the managers and everyone.

"If not it is difficult to sustain it."

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