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Premier League expected to keep three-subs rule: says CEO

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said on Tuesday that the English top-flight was expected to stick to its three-substitutes rule after pressure from Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola to allow five changes.

Liverpool manager Klopp and Manchester City boss Guardiola have been vociferous in their calls for the Premier League to allow five substitutions, with fears over rising player injuries during the hectic fixture schedule.

At present only three changes per match are permitted.

All the other major European leagues and the Champions League have continued with the five-sub rule that was introduced when football returned after the coronavirus lockdown earlier this year.

However, Masters, giving evidence to British lawmakers on the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said clubs had voted against it twice already and there was little appetite for a change.

It is believed the Premier League’s so-called “big six” clubs were in favour of increasing substitutions while others preferred three as they felt the sides with larger squads would have too much of an advantage. 

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

“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 foresee it changing in the foreseeable future. It has been voted on twice.”

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