The Premier League has finally decided to allow all the teams to make five substitutions and this landmark change will come into effect from the 2022/23 season.
The English top division had introduced this rule back in May 2020 to help the teams manage their players better during the pandemic. Back then, the league was just restarting after an abrupt halt which meant teams had to play three or even four matches in a span of eight to nine days. The five substitutions allowed all the sides to rest their players, thereby avoiding unnecessary injuries.
While all the other European leagues had decided to continue with the five subs but surprisingly, the EPL was the only top division league to abandon this plan because some clubs thought having a bigger squad will give an unfair advantage to bigger teams.
Now, the Premier League shareholders have voted to bring back the five substitutes rule but the change will only come into effect from the next campaign.
The official statement read: “Clubs agreed to change the rules relating to substitute players.
“From next season, clubs will be permitted to use five substitutions, to be made on three occasions during a match, with an additional opportunity at half-time.
“A total of nine substitutes can be named on the team sheet.”
Premier League Shareholders met today and discussed a range of matters.
Clubs agreed to change the rules relating to substitute players. From next season, clubs will be permitted to use five substitutions.
— Premier League (@premierleague) March 31, 2022
Will the five substitutes rule help the Premier League sides?
Almost all the managers from the bigger clubs have come out to support this decision but this is also because their clubs will be most beneficial.
“I’m glad at the end we have unified a criteria for the whole of Europe,” Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta had said, as quoted.
“It doesn’t don’t slow the game down too much and I think it’s good. It gives players the opportunity to be on the pitch, which is what they want to do.”
The Saints manager has also come out in support of this change, despite the claims of an unfair advantage.
Hasenhuttl said, as per the Daily Echo: “It’s no surprise, we have spoken a lot about it that for us it would be a gamechanger with the way we play – it helps for us, definitely.
“There are some arguments from the smaller clubs not to do it because of the squad difference between us and the bigger clubs, but I see it always as an advantage.”
It was the sides outside the top-six who had initially opposed the amendment of the substitution rule but they have finally caved in.
We can understand why the smaller teams are so worried because there’s no denying that the bigger sides will get a bigger boost due to this rule change.
Teams like Man United, Man City and Liverpool work with really big squads so naming nine quality substitutes will be really effortless for them.
But the sides who traditionally finish outside the top ten will find it really challenging to fill all the spots and many of them will eventually have to name youngsters from the academies to fill the gap.
Naming nine players on the bench just for the sake of it and using nine robust substitutes tactically are two totally different things and as time passes by, this gap is just going to widen.
A lot less players moving out on loan:
Another major drawback of this amendment is that a lot less players will now sent out on loan This might help some footballers get more game time with their parent club but several smaller sides depend on loan signings to add creativity and that x factor to their squad.
The Premier League will now introduce the use of five substitutes from next season.
Managers dream! 😍 pic.twitter.com/27rCGKcy16
— 90min (@90min_Football) March 31, 2022
If clubs like Norwich cannot sign a Brandon Williams or Palace can’t get someone like Conor Gallagher, it will be next to impossible for them to stay in the top tier for long periods of time.
In short, these fringe players will be much better off going to the smaller clubs and showcasing their talents rather than sit on the bench for weeks at an end just to play the final five or 10 minutes of games.
The bigger sides Premier League needed this:
Not everything is against the top-six though because these sides also play in Europe which means by the end of the season, they play a lot more matches than teams like Brentford, Watford or Brighton.
Club the Champions League and the Europa League with domestic tournaments like the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup and there’s an immediate justification in favour of the giants. Getting more subs for their weekend games will really help such teams keep their players fresh for the crucial midweek ties.
A massive boost for the players:
No matter how match we argue in favour or against the 20 teams but we are sure all the players will be really happy with this rule.
Since the pandemic hit, many players have been playing almost non-stop and with the World Cup coming up, most of them will not even get proper rest during the summer.
Grueling schedules have resulted in a lot more injuries so these change of rule will massively help avoid all these unncessary injuries.
Will the rule be eventually rolled back?
Billioniare owners are coming into the Premier League which means more money is going to be pumped in and if by any chance the FFP is done with then the big sides will massively exploit this five subsitution rule.
The men behind the curtains are opening up the doors for more entertaining football but in doing so, they are invariably helping the bigger sides to get even more triumphant.
The job of the Premier League stakeholders is not to help the big sides get biggers but to make sure all the 20 sides get a playing level field. This will not only help such teams stay afloat but it will also make sure that the ultra competitivness of the Premier League is not washed away.
We don’t think this rule is going away anytime soon and the best we hope is that the big sides not exploit this rule unncessary and are still willing to help out the minnows as well as their backup players.