Elite clubs lose out on keeping five subs rule
The Premier League’s elite sides were defeated in their attempt to implement the use of five substitutes per game for the 2020-21 season at a shareholding meeting yesterday, with 11 of the 20 clubs voting against the proposal.
The vote emphatically failed to reach the threshold of 14 needed to make the law change – with opposition from clubs outside the elite who felt it would hand an unfair advantage to the wealthier clubs with bigger squads. Having reluctantly agreed to the measure for the purpose of player welfare during Project Restart, the majority wanted to go back to three substitutes – chiefly in order to retain competitive balance.
There was a 10-10 tie in the vote to increase match-day squads to 20 – nine substitutes – and therefore squads will stay at 18, as they were before Project Restart.
Among the 20 clubs in the meeting were the promoted teams: Leeds United, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham. All are understood to have voted to return to three substitutes and a bench of seven players rather than the nine implemented for the end of the last season. It was a blow for clubs such as Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, who have been keen to keep five substitutes and make greater use of the playing resources at their disposal.
The measure was always regarded with suspicion by others and earlier in the year even faced four votes against it when it was implemented for the final games of this season – from Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Sheffield United and West Ham. Since then managers have voiced their objections to the law change.
Lewis bid snubbed
Liverpool have had a £10 million bid for left-back Jamal Lewis rejected by Norwich City, who value him at twice that amount. Talks over the Northern Ireland International will continue, but it is increasingly likely the 22-year-old will become Anfield’s first summer recruit.
Spurs close on deals
Tottenham have agreed fees with
Southampton to sign Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and for Kyle WalkerPeters to move in the other direction. Hojbjerg, 24, will be Spurs’ first signing of the summer in a deal starting at £15 million with add-ons, while the loan deal for 23-year-old WalkerPeters at St Mary’s will be made permanent for £12 million before performance clauses.
Leeds eye Benrahma
Leeds United are prepared to make an offer for 24-year-old Brentford forward Said Benrahma, who is valued at £25 million. West Ham, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Leicester are also interested.
Non-league club Droylsden, formed in 1892, have resigned from the Northern Premier League due to the financial impact of coronavirus.