A majority of the Premier League’s 20 clubs have opted against keeping the rule which allows each side to make five substitutions per match for the 2020/21 season in a second vote on the issue.
The rule was brought in when the 2019/20 top flight campaign resumed after a three month hiatus in June in an attempt to prevent widespread injuries as the fixture list was fulfilled following a compressed schedule.
Football’s world governing body FIFA declared that the five substitution rule could be used in competitions up to August 2021, but Premier League sides first voted against the amendment in a meeting on 6 August.
However, there was a revote held on Thursday which again produced the same result according to Martyn Ziegler, chief sports correspondent for The Times.
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp came out in favour of additional substitutions after his Premier League champions lost to Arsenal in the Community Shield. Speaking on the Saturday before the Thursday’s meeting Klopp said: “We have 38 Premier League games in a four week shorter season, that says it all,” as quoted by Liverpool’s official website. “All the other competitions will be pretty much the same as far as I know, so that means that these things will help.
“But I can imagine other teams see it differently…It is really, how can we get through the season. I think for getting in a good way through the season, for the sake of the football players and the performance levels, I think it would make sense.”
On the same day as the Premier League’s decision, the Bundesliga – Germany’s top flight – voted to keep the five substitutions rule for next season as reported by DW’s Jonathan Crane.
The same Premier League meeting also reportedly produced positive news for fans hoping for the broadcasting of live matches while the competition is played behind closed doors, although the topic will be revisited next week.
Given the lack of fans in stadiums, every Premier League match was televised after football returned last season. Despite the continued absence of fans for the start of 2020/21, only certain matches next season will be aired as things stand, though that may be subject to change.