Backlash expected as Premier League clubs set to vote on continued use of five substitutes

Sam Wallace
·2 min read
King Power Stadium, Leicester - Backlash expected as Premier League clubs set to vote on continued use of five substitutes - GETTY IMAGES
King Power Stadium, Leicester - Backlash expected as Premier League clubs set to vote on continued use of five substitutes - GETTY IMAGES

Premier League clubs are expected to clash on Thursday in the vote over continuing to use five substitutes in league games, with a backlash expected against the big six who support the measure.

The shareholders meeting of the 20 clubs, including the newly promoted Leeds United, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham, will convene via video link to discuss a range of issues as well as vote on whether to continue to use five substitutes or revert to three. The likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea are all in favour of adopting the five substitutes rule for the 2020-21 season but face significant opposition to gain the requisite 14-vote majority.

Many of the clubs outside the elite regard it as a rule that favours wealthier clubs with better quality squads which would only give those at the top of the table a greater advantage. Telegraph Sport understands that the 20 clubs expect the vote to be a close run race with every chance the measure is rejected.

It was introduced as a Project Restart measure on the grounds of player safety with fears over injuries in the truncated season as squads faced an intense run of games following lockdown. Even then there were four votes against it from Aston Villa, Bournemouth, West Ham and Sheffield United. Clubs were also temporarily allowed to pick nine substitutes rather than seven in a matchday playing squad.

The Sept 12 start date for the season is also likely to come under scrutiny with clubs in European competition asking for the minimum 30-day break. Manchester City would have to delay their start to the season should they reach the Champions League final on Aug 23. The clubs are also likely to discuss negotiations with the Football Association over work permits and homegrown quotas for the league after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union next year.