5 Substitute Law Would Give Even More Advantage To Big Six Clubs
Wednesday, 11th Nov 2020 10:54
Although it has been voted down twice already by the Premier League clubs, the spectre of allowing 5 substitutes is rearing it's ugly head and guess who are calling for it, yes the Big Six and for a good reason, it will give them even more of an advantage.
It is rather ironic to hear Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp whinging about the fact that they have an injury crisis and he want to see a 5 substitute rule introduced to the Premier League for the rest of the season and let's be blunt it it happens this season then it will be more than likely to be here for good.
The reality is that the clubs in the so called BIg Six should have and indeed do have big enough squads to cope with any injury crisis.
Take the benches for the Manchester City clash with Liverpool at the weekend, the 7 players sat on it had cost a mere £140 million, that was between 4 of them, there were 3 players who came through the youth set up in Foden, Garcia and Zinchenko, all of them current Internationals for their country, Zinchenko for instance has played 33 times for the Ukraine, yet only 8 more times for City and what would Phil Foden's value in the transfer market be at the moment ?
Liverpool it has to be said where down to the bare bones, their bench had cost them a mere £75 million, two free transfers and two youth players, neither of whom have full England caps, how can they be expected to compete under such adversity ?
Tottenham Hotspur a club who recently borrowed £175 million from the Government and then blew around £12 million of that, not on paying and keeping in a job long serving non playing staff but on Gareth Bales wages managed to sneak past West Brom to go top for a couple of hours with a bench costing them a mere £100 million, but Joe Hart on a free is still a good keeper and Carlos Vincius on loan from Benfica is a striker that cost Benfica £17 million in the summer of 2019 and has a release clause of £100 million, having topped the goal scoring chart in Portugal last season is presumably worth a hefty amount now.
Why he went to Tottenham is anyone's guess, it wasn't for the game time in the Premier League since joining two months ago his 12 minutes against West Brom on Sunday was his first appearance in the League although he has played a few cup games.
Compare that with Saints, our starting XI against Newcastle last week cost us £78 million, just slightly more than Liverpool's overstretched bench, our 7 substitutes included 3 home grown players with 1 Premier League start and 8 sub appearances between them.
It was boosted by new signing Diallo & Fraser Forster who cost about £21 million between them and the two players who go on Long & Redmond who cost about the same amount.
On paper a bench costing £42 million isn't bad, but we paid half of that six years ago for a player who has given us sterling service but is approaching 34 and another in Fraser Forster who has played 1 league game for us in the two seasons prior to this.
Now that is a bench that is struggling.
These four examples highlight why the Big Six want 5 subs, against Newcastle we could just about have put on 3 with the experience required, we wouldn't have been comfortable with having to put on another two kids.
Substitutes were originally introduced for injuries only, that soon changed to include tactical changes, but remained at just 1 sub for many years.
A balance has to be struck between the two, 3 subs is probably just about right, it allows managers to cover both an injury or two in the game as well as a tactical change or two as well.
But make that 5 subs and you give a distinct advantage to those clubs who are able to spend big and have the money to pay the wages as well, at the moment and it should be noted that this season is different in many ways, the Premier League is just about competitive, sides like Saints and that means 14 of us at the moment, can beat the top sides, but will we still be able to do that if they can make another couple of changes, if we are winning 1-0 they have the firepower to throw on strikers that cost more than our entire bench, possibly our team, they could revert to playing 5 up front and turn games into the old training drill of defence v attack, vice versa and if they are winning they can shut up shop, games will peter out in the final 20 minutes with a wall of expensive defenders playing the ball amongst themselves.
So it is not just about keeping the Premier League competitive, it is about keeping it entertaining, make no bones about it, they don't want to be able to use 5 subs to show off the best players in the World, they want to make sure that games like last season where we beat City 1-0 happen even less often than they do now.
So moving up to 5 subs this season may initially only be a temporary measure, but once the door has opened it is hard to shut it again, the smaller clubs and that includes the likes of Everton, Newcastle & West Ham who all consider themselves sleeping giants will be trod even more into the dirt.
The Premier League needs to be revamped, that probably includes a European Super League, but the changes have to be for the benefit of the many not that of the elite few.
The recent Project Bigger Picture showed that those in the Big Six only have their own interests at heart, that means getting bigger slices of the cake and leaving less to divide up, they have tried to smash the doors down and failed, they will now try a more subtle approach, we should not let them, 5 subs is just a step in that direction.
Photo: Action Images
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