‘It would affect the integrity of the Premier League’, Sheffield United CEO counters Klopp and Guardiola on talks for five substitutions

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It appears Sheffield United are among the clubs that opposed five substitutions in the Premier League this season after the club’s CEO, Stephen Bettis has said opposed the calls for its reintroduction in the middle of the 2020-21 Premier League season by Man City manager, Pep Guardiola and his Liverpool counterpart, Jurgen Klopp.

Bettis noted in an interview that making such a decision in the middle of a campaign would affect the competition’s integrity, club

Both managers made the reactions following their 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday. They criticized the league’s decision not to stick with last season’s temporary rule that allowed five instead of three substitutions as allowed by other top European leagues. According to them, the situation has resulted in additional muscle injuries being recorded by top clubs in the League.

There was a late start of the League due to the coronavirus pandemic that forced people into a lockdown for three months. It has therefore brought about a compressed schedule, especially for teams that are in European competitions.

It was gathered that ten clubs supported five substitutions, eight clubs opposed the reintroduction twice while two clubs are indifferent. For the five substitutions to be reintroduced, 14 clubs must support it.

Premier League currently opposes five substitutions

“We remain suspicious that big clubs simply want to be able to sub off players to rest them to keep them fresh … the bigger the club, the stronger the bench,” Bettis told Sky Sports.

“Any change of rules midseason will clearly affect the integrity of the league … The 20 clubs have voted not once but twice to reject five subs. The bigger clubs managed to find a way to have the vote held a second time and again they lost.

“So far this season, clubs playing in Europe have endured a similar workload to clubs in the Championship and we don’t hear them complaining, do we? Here at Bramall Lane, we have not seen an increase in muscle injuries,” Bettis added.

PFA backs call for five substitutions in the Premier League

Meanwhile, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) has backed calls for the return of five substitutes.

The association in a statement said it expects the Premier League to support such a move on health and safety grounds for players.

Reacting to the development, Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Masters says he doesn’t see the situation changing having been put up for vote twice.

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

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

“There is a real issue and I don’t see it changing in the foreseeable future,”Masters said.