Sheffield United CEO Stephen Bettis has admitted that the league cannot change the five substitutions rule in the middle of the season as it would ruin the integrity of the competition. The rule has been pushed for by the major English sides despite Premier League clubs voting against it twice.
With the Premier League opting against the five substitutions rule at the start of the 2020/21 season, it shocked many fans especially with the clubs voting against the rule. But while the English top tier was the only side to revert back to the normal three substitutions rule, it has seen many managers vocal in their criticism over the said rule. Both Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have been the latest to do it with neither happy that the rule was scrapped.
This is because the late start to the season combined with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic has seen clubs that play European season earn a more compressed schedule. But despite that, it has also seen Stephen Bettis admit that the league cannot change the rule mid-season as that will “clearly affect the integrity o the league”. The Sheffield United CEO further added that the clubs have already made their decision regarding the rule by voting against it not once but twice.
"We remain suspicious that big clubs simply want to be able to sub off players to rest them to keep them fresh ... the bigger the club, the stronger the bench. Any change of rules midseason will clearly affect the integrity of the league ... The 20 clubs have voted not once but twice to reject five subs. The bigger clubs managed to find a way to have the vote held a second time and again they lost," Bettis told Sky Sports.
"So far this season, clubs playing in Europe have endured a similar workload to clubs in the Championship and we don't hear them complaining, do we? Here at Bramall Lane, we have not seen an increase in muscle injuries."