According to Matt Slater from The Athletic, IFAB is set to confirm that the use of five substitutes will be in effect for the full 20/21 season.
The temporary rule – introduced after the Coronavirus outbreak – is set to be extended in the next few days.
The Premier League voted for the temporary rule, although Aston Villa, Bournemouth, Sheffield United and West Ham United were against it.
Back in May, football journalist Michael Cox argued that these changes shouldn’t be made permanent and that they favour the top teams with big squads.
He wrote: “Leaving aside injuries and contractual situations for a minute, Pep Guardiola could, for example, start with a front five of Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Leroy Sane. He could then introduce Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Phil Foden in their places. Then in extra time, Rodri could replace Fernandinho.”
He concluded, “It will… inevitably benefit the bigger clubs.”
Leeds United don’t have anywhere near that depth in squad and barring a highly unlikely chain of events over the summer, won’t have for next season.
Regardless, Marcelo Bielsa is a manager who likes to play the same XI players and make minimal substitutions.
We can understand why the rule was brought in for the remainder of this season, with concerns over injuries after the enforced break.
However, we really can’t see why this would need to be extended to 20/21 unless there’s pressure from the top teams on IFAB.
The argument is that a late start to next season could see the same concerns throughout the whole of next season.
But, injuries haven’t been mounting up in the Premier League or the Championship since the restart and the power six in the Premier League don’t need any more help.
There’s already a big divide between the top six and the rest of the league – football doesn’t need this to get any bigger.
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