English Premier League approves five substitutions from Friday.

The EFL will permit five substitutions in Friday’s Sky Bet Championship fixture between Coventry and Birmingham City; Premier League urged to revisit their rules by club managers and England’s head coach Gareth Southgate.

EFL clubs have voted to allow teams five substitutions per match, starting on Friday in the Sky Bet Championship game between Coventry and Birmingham.

In August, Premier League clubs voted against allowing teams to make five substitutions per game in the 2020/21 season.

The English top-flight is the only major European league that decided against continuing with the system this season, used towards the end of the last term after the coronavirus pandemic truncated the length of the 2019/20 campaign.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola have both complained the decision to reduce substitutes to three despite difficulties brought on by the pandemic is partly responsible for a spate of muscular injuries across the top flight.

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Klopp said earlier this month it is a “necessity” for clubs to have five substitutes per match in the Premier League, while Guardiola labelled the current three subs limit a “disaster”.

Rules Regarding Substitutions

England manager Gareth Southgate has also called on the Premier League to revisit their rules regarding substitutions.

Gareth Southgate

“We were able to make five changes against Belgium – we made four in the end – and clubs don’t have that option,” Southgate said. “What will it take for that to change? There were a couple of less serious injuries against Belgium but what do we do? Wait until we get a load of really nasty ones?”

Southgate, who is also unhappy at the lack of a winter break this season, said England had taken measures to try and help players recover physically but he worries the issue will persist if something is not done soon.

“I have to be fair to the club managers. They are their players firstly and they have the right to play them as they see fit,” he added.

“(Injuries are) a worry in the longer term because with no winter break, something has to give.”

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