Premier League ready to change rules Aston Villa boss Dean Smith doesn’t want
Aston Villa will be able to play five Premier League substitutes starting next season after lawmakers agreed to change the rules.
The number of substitutions has been a topic of division over the past year since top teams were temporarily allowed to make five substitutions when football restarted amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola wanted this to be a permanent change for the 2020-21 season, but not enough clubs voted for it.
Competitions like the Champions League and the Europa League both allow five substitutes, but the Premier League is down to three.
But now football lawmakers IFAB have recommended a permanent change in the number of substitutes allowed in a match.
“[The IFAB’s Football and Technical Advisory Panels] recommended today that competitions can decide to increase the number of substitutes according to the needs of their football environment, while the current number of substitution opportunities (three plus half-time) should remain the same “, indicates a press release.
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This is now likely to put pressure on the Premier League as other European leagues such as La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga also allow five substitutions.
However, there were plenty of arguments against the move, with many believing that two more substitutes is an advantage for big clubs with huge numbers.
Last season Villa head coach Dean Smith insisted he needed more evidence to prove the well-being of the players was at risk before supporting the reintroduction of five Premier League substitutions.
He said, in November 2020: “We had a meeting and we spoke at length about the individual feelings of each manager.
“I can only leave my football club, and if the well-being of the players becomes an issue then it is obvious and you have to increase the substitutions or look at the match schedule.
“At the moment, I don’t see any tendency from my players to suggest that player welfare is an issue.
“I talk to my players all the time – I want the best for them and I want to take care of them. That’s what we do.”
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