Premier League Teams Vote Against Five Subs – Is Klopp Right To Be Upset?

As the football season soldiers on, the number of injuries suffered by key players and people missing out due to COVID are racking up. Yet the clubs that make up England’s top flight have rejected the proposal to increase the number of substitutes from the conventional three, to five - twice!

The biggest advocate for the change is Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

The charismatic coach has constantly referenced the number of games teams have to play due to the pandemic, and even questioned the other clubs for putting success over the welfare of the players.

In fact, at the end of the game in which Liverpool played Man City, cameras could see Klopp passionately telling Pep Guardiola “that a change was needed”, something that Guardiola clearly agreed with. 

Who voted against increasing the number of substitutions?

Shortly after, the proposal for the change was voted on for the second time.

During the vote, half of the 20 clubs voted against the proposal (Aston Villa, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Leicester, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield United, West Ham and Wolves).

For any motion to be carried forward, 14 clubs must agree to it.

As a result, the Barclays Premier League remains the only major European league that hasn’t made the change. A decision that has both baffled and infuriated Klopp. 

However, before you start siding with the German manager, it is important to look at how he personally might have shot himself in the foot a little.

Take for example Liverpool’s final Champions League game, in December, where Liverpool took a full squad to Denmark.

During match-day 6, Klopp played Salah, and Alexander-Arnold for the full game, and brought on Henderson, Firmino, Mane, and Robertson later on, even though Liverpool had already guaranteed top spot prior to the game.

On other occasions, Klopp bought on Salah against Crystal Palace despite being 4-0 ahead – Salah got a hat-trick in a 7-0 win –  and the latest strange decision was taken when he played a full squad against Aston Villa U-19’s in the F.A. Cup.

In each of these games, Klopp could have rested his players, but chose not to. 

Even though the Premier League should have arguably followed suit, and allowed for five substitutes, it wouldn’t have really made a difference to the season itself.

The big teams have invested huge amounts of money over the last decade in order to build squads that can deal with such fixture lists.

Subsequently, the likes of Liverpool should be able to navigate their way through the congested fixture list, which would be easier to do if Klopp maybe avoided playing key players in unnecessary fixtures. 

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