Premier League chief responds to Man Utd and Liverpool complaints over key rule

Premier League chief Richard Masters says there will be no reversal on the decision to drop the number of substitutions allowed from five to three.

The Premier League came under attack from Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool at the weekend over the fixture schedule and the physical welfare of players.

When football resumed after an enforced break due to the coronavirus pandemic, clubs were permitted to make up to five subs in a match.

But to the frustration of the big clubs, the rule was dropped at the start of the 2020/21 season.

In contrast, Europe’s top leagues have all continued with the increased substitution rule.

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On Sunday, Man City boss Pep Guardiola and Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp raised the subject after the 1-1 draw between the two teams.

But speaking at a hearing with the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Masters ruled out a u-turn.

“We have had two votes on it at club level and both have been relatively supportive of three subs,” he said.

“That has created some frustration, alongside discussions of fixture scheduling, which is related to the pandemic.

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“There is a real issue and I don’t foresee it changing in the foreseeable future. It has been voted on twice.”

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.

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“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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