Liverpool Boss Jurgen Klopp Pessimistic on Premier League Clubs Agreeing to Five Substitutions

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp reiterated the need for five substitutions in the Premier League to protect players amid a demanding schedule and rising COVID-19 cases but conceded he did not see all clubs agreeing to make a change.

Top flight leagues in Europe adopted the rule to increase the number of substitutions per game to five to ease the workload on players amid the COVID-19 pandemic but Premier League clubs voted against the motion.

Fifteen Premier League games have already been postponed this month due to coronavirus outbreaks leading to a fixture pile-up, while a lack of available players has forced those who recovered from COVID-19 to play more minutes.

“You need 14 votes to change it — there’s something wrong. As an example, I’m not sure how many Burnley players play international football. When our players have three games, they have no game,” Klopp told reporters on Monday.

“We are talking about an issue that some clubs and some players definitely have but it’s decided by other teams. Because we make a competition of it, they say no. That’s a real problem.

“The best league in the world, the most intense league in the world, is the only league with still three subs. That’s not right, we should change it (but) I don’t see a real chance to change it, to be honest.”

Brentford manager Thomas Frank also called for the introduction of five substitutions.

“I completely agree that we need five subs. I know I’m (part of) one of the clubs with the lowest budget and probably the thinnest squad, but I still think that will help all of us,” Frank said.

Both Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick and Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola had called for five substitutions last week.

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