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Arsenal captain to attend meeting on Premier League rule change

Arsenal captain to attend meeting on Premier League rule change


LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: Gabriel Martinelli celebrates with Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal after scoring their team's first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on December 15, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Gabriel Martinelli celebrates with Mikel Arteta during the Premier League match between Arsenal and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on December 15, 2021. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The Daily Mail report that top-flight clubs are expecting a vote on the reintroduction of five substitutions at June’s annual general meeting, as recommended by the International FA Board last October.

Club captains are expected to discuss the matter in a call on Tuesday.

Teams would still only have three opportunities to make substitutions during the match (plus as many as they want at half-time), just as in this year’s edition of the League Cup.

So, it wouldn’t increase the potential for time-wasting.

The Premier League’s top clubs are all believed to be in support of the change, though it was previously voted down by some from lower down the table.

Other top European leagues already use five substitutions, but the fear from England’s smaller clubs is that it would give a disproportionate advantage to those with more squad strength in depth.

Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Burnley at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 23, 2022. - - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Burnley at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 23, 2022. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

PFA chair Maheta Molango claims studies show that there’s no competitive advantage from the extra substitutions, and it’s “purely a question of player welfare”.

That makes sense, too. If you have a thinner squad, it’s arguably more important to ensure you can keep your best players fit by resting them more often.

The big clubs have the advantage of a greater variety of options, but the smaller clubs would benefit more from a general improvement in player welfare.

You can understand the hesitance, but now that we’ve seen the system work for a few years in other countries it only seems sensible to make the same change here.

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