FIVE substitutes will be allowed in the FA Cup from the third round stage – in a move that will put further pressure on the Prem.
In a major rebuff to Prem club chiefs who have refused to budge over the issue which has brought bitter division between the Big Six and the rest, the FA voted to fall into line with Uefa and Europe’s major leagues.
Five substitutes will be allowed in the FA Cup from the third round stageCredit: Reuters
Manchester City did not make one sub against Fulham Credit: AFP
It means top flight clubs will be able to use five subs in European competition and in the world’s most famous knock-out tournament – but not in the Premier League.
And that sets the scene for a further inter-club row after Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp warned Gareth Southgate his England squad for Euro 2020 could be scuppered by injuries as a result of the League’s refusal to.
The FA’s Professional Game Board voted unanimously to allow five substitutes from the third round stage of the competition next month.
Three Prem clubs are on the Board, along with League solicitor – and interim FA chairman – Peter McCormick.
And while Brighton chief executive Paul Barber and Spurs director Rebecca Caplehorn represent clubs who have supported five substitutes, Crystal Palace, represented by chief executive Phil Alexander, have opposed the move.
SunSport revealed that 15 of the 20 Prem managers signalled they were in support of reverting to five subs at their meeting last month.
Despite that, no vote has been taken at Prem boardroom level after at least two of the clubs whose managers changed their personal stance made it clear they would NOT alter their position.
Under Prem rules, it needs 14 clubs in favour to bring in a rule change and both votes for five substitutes were defeated by 11 to nine, well short of the majority required.
Klopp’s anger at the issue has boiled over in recent weeks and his frustration is shared by the rest of the Big Six, who have pointed fingers at League chief executive Richard Masters for not attempting to dragoon the rebels into line.
The Liverpool chief argues that sticking with three subs poses a serious risk to player safety and welfare, especially as clubs are entering the most hectic domestic period of the most congested season in the history of the English game.
But now the FA’s move and the unanimous vote will add to the demands for the Prem clubs to think again and there could yet be a third vote called by the Big Six before Christmas.