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Jurgen Klopp insists a growing number of Premier League managers are pushing for five substitutes to be allowed in matches.
The EFL announced this week that its clubs would be able to make use five subs in matches as of this weekend.
But the Premier League, despite introducing a rule to allow five changes during 2019-20’s Project Restart, reverted to three subs for 2020-21, even though the rest of Europe’s major leagues continued with the added amount.
Some bosses have been outspoken on the subject, insisting that it hands an unfair advantage to the league’s bigger clubs.
But amid this season’s compressed schedule and with an increase in muscle and fatigue injuries, discussions have been held over allowing five subs to be used for the remainder of the campaign.
At a Premier League meeting on Wednesday, managers discussed the situation, with Klopp confirming a number of opinions have been changed.
Klopp has insisted it is about player protection
(Image: Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
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“People need to understand football players. People say: ‘Oh, but they earn this much.’ It’s not about that. They earn that much because they are so special,” said Klopp, speaking to Jamie Redknapp for the Daily Mail.
“There are actors who are brilliant but will never be James Bond. But as a James Bond, you earn more than others. With football, it’s the same. So many people play football and the best of them earn more. But that doesn’t make them more robust for everything in life. On Wednesday we had a meeting between all of the managers and it was so important.
“Before the season, some people thought it would be an advantage for us, the people who said we should stick to five substitutions. But it was never — and I can promise you this, I’m a Christian — it was not for one second about having an advantage.
“All the other countries did it. Italy — Juventus, Inter Milan, they have the biggest squads, but still the other clubs said, ‘We need five subs.’
“Six managers changed their minds. We need it. For the players, not the clubs. December and January in a normal season is brutal. We know that. But this year, for the Champions League and Europa League clubs, October is like December. November is like December. December is still December, then January, then February.
“We all agree we want to play, 100 per cent. But it’s little adjustments.”
Liverpool have been bitten by injuries more than most, with Virgil van Dijk joined on the long-term injury list by Joe Gomez during the international break – an injury England boss Gareth Southgate was down to the current packed schedule as much as anything else.
Klopp continued: “It’s not about me. It’s not about Liverpool. It’s about player welfare. Nothing else. The problem is if you ask the players, they say, ‘I’m fine!’ Because players always want to play. Always. Until they are injured.”
Champions Liverpool face table-toppers Leicester City on Sunday.
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