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All of the league’s clubs will continue to have just three changes available per game, in contrast to every other big European league

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp expressed his frustration after Premier League clubs again rejected an increase in available subs per game. 

On Thursday, clubs agreed “in principle” to introduce additional permanent concussion substitutions, but rejected a proposal to change each team’s available subs per game from three to five. 

The Premier League did confirm teams will be allowed to name up to nine substitutes on the bench in each game – an increase from seven.

With a condensed schedule in the 2020-21, Klopp and several of his colleagues have argued that teams should have the ability to make five changes per game.

Smaller clubs have opposed the change though, arguing that it would favour bigger clubs who have deeper squads.

Though every other major league in Europe has increased each team’s available subs to five for this season, the Premier League continues to stick with the usual three allowed changes per match. 

“Everybody knows my opinions about it,” Klopp said in reaction to the vote. “Everyone knows 10 clubs voted against it. It was not about advantages, it was only about player welfare. And they voted against it.

“Pretty much only they voted against them in the whole world.

“I don’t know which other leagues only have three subs. There must be a good reason for it, for all these leagues and clubs to vote for it.”

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard concurred with Klopp, saying that player welfare has been overlooked in the vote. 

“When we spoke about it as managers, the overriding factor from managers, whether they were maybe for or against, was that this is a case of player welfare, making sure we are looking after players and giving them the best opportunity to play at optimum level and not putting them at risk and such, because of the uncertain times and the schedule,” Lampard said. 

“And that schedule gets tougher, for instance we play two games in three days over Christmas. So I think it would have been really beneficial for player welfare. Normally the modern-day player welfare comes out on top, I don’t think it quite has this time.”

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December 18, 2020
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