City boss in favour of changing substitution rules ahead of vote next week
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Championship clubs will vote next week on whether to reinstate the five substitutes rule, with Norwich City boss Daniel Farke in favour of the move.
According to a report in the Telegraph, concerns over the health and safety of players were raised by clubs at Thursday’s EFL board meeting after an increasingly condensed schedule caused by a later season start date.
International sides have squeezed in an extra fixture during the November break, meaning some players will have completed 270 extra minutes ahead of another gruelling block of matches.
The vote has been scheduled after concerns were raised by many coaches and club officials over fixture congestion, injuries, and the absence of players due to Covid-19 protocols.
City’s boss has led the charge for the re-introduction of five substitutes, something that the Canaries saw in the Project Restart period.
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“After the first lockdown we had breaks during games for recovery, we had five substitutes, bigger game day squads with 20 players. It is hard to understand why we don’t do this now,” he said. “All across Europe they allow 20 players in the game day squad. We said, ‘No we stay with 18. We stay with three subs.’
“We are probably at an advantage, because we are very good in terms of the fitness levels of our players, but I would rather speak about this topic when we are successful and we are the form team in this league.
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“I think I am allowed to speak now and highlight the safety and quality and health of the game.
“I understand we have to take some difficult decisions but I am really not sure in some areas.”
Other high profile managers, such as Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, have expressed their displeasure over the reluctancy from the Premier League to put the issue to a vote, City’s boss branded the three substitute rule as ‘a disaster’.
The counter argument is that the rule change would create a competitive imbalance, meaning teams with deeper squads and more quality possess an advantage.
Watford manager Vladimir Ivic and Bournemouth boss Jason Tindall have also called for the rule to be introduced. The vote will take place next week ahead of the next round of Championship fixtures.