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The Premier League has finally approved the use of five substitutions per game, but will this ultimately hurt competitive balance? Visionhaus/Getty Images

A discussion over the use of five substitute players in the premier league has been going on for a while. A desire to preserve the integrity and competitiveness of the game is one of the reasons why English football is concerned about the possibility of an independent regulator.

The use of five substitution may seem small. The use of five substitute players was recommended by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) in June 2020 as a temporary measure to help ease concerns about the coronaviruses, but the English league voted against it.

The biggest threat to the status of the most compelling division in world football is the change to the league's structure.

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If you're looking for an example of how this rule change will make the divide between the elite and the rest worse, look no further than the FA Cup sixth-round match between Manchester United andNorwich City. There was an enforced hiatus for football in England after COVID-19.

The introduction of five substitute was a welcome amendment to appease widespread uncertainty about the effects and spread of the virus. It was an ominous warning for what's to come.

United took the lead with their first shot on target in the 51st minute through Odion Ighalo, but it was not until 24 minutes later that they were able to even the score. Without any home support to drive them on due to the match being played behind closed doors, the Canaries pushed hard for a winning goal despite a United onslaught that didn't come from anywhere on the pitch, but from the bench.

Three minutes after Cantwell's equaliser, they replaced Brandon Williams, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford with Nemanja MATIC and PAUL POWELL. The game went to extra time, which gave United an additional change, and with Norwich down to 10 men following Timm Klose's red card, Solskjaer threw on Anthony Martial.

In March of this year, days before the premier league voted on the expansion, Manchester City got themselves up in an FA Cup quarterfinal atSouthampton and responded by bringing on Phil Foden, Ryoko, Fernandinho, Oleksandr and Nathan Ake. The City won by a score of 6-1.


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We should accept it. The shift in priorities from protecting the league's competitiveness to aiding the biggest clubs in their pursuit of success on multiple fronts is the result of the rule change.

The unpredictability of the league is one of the reasons it is still popular. There is a sense of jeopardy in most games, something not seen in Europe's other top league, and it also affects the identity of the champion. Although Manchester City have won four of the past five titles, the premier league has had seven winners in total since it started in 1992-93. England is no exception to the fact that top clubs across Europe have increased their revenues.

Man United's bench has been rich with talent a number of times this season, as have the substitutes for all the top clubs. Giving them more ability to tap into those subs will only widen the gaps between them and the rest of the pack. Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images

The "Big Six" still hold greater sway despite the threat from West ham. Since the introduction of the 25-man squad rule, the balance has been tipped in favor of the big clubs being able to keep more top players happy for longer.

From the point of view of the manager, it's easy to see why he's the biggest advocate of the five substitute rule. There is a strong case for some sort of measure to aid player welfare, as every other major European league has it. The Reds played 63 games in the 21st century, which is five short of the English record of 69 games set by the Blues in the 13th century. All five subs were used in seven of the nine league games during Project Restart. More than one of the five used more all the time.

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fault lines in the debate were drawn mainly by the size of the club involved. It was suggested that smaller teams would have fewer players away with their countries and could therefore use those punctuation points during the season to recover because of the high number of players thatLiverpool had. The game's governing bodies don't want to address the underlying problem of too much football, that's why five substitute doesn't fix it.

According to sources, one member of the Big Six used their own data modelling to suggest that the number of matches was more important than the number of substitute players. The game'sOrganisers don't want to address this point because it will affect their bottom line.

The World Cup will be expanded to 48 teams from 2026 and the Europa Conference League will be added to the European club competition.

The idea of a so-called "39th game", an extra round of matches played overseas to further enhance revenue, is being kicked around by the premier league.

This relentless pursuit of further expansion is offset by the introduction of five substitute. There is a law change that allows more people to play football. The concentration of talent at the top clubs will make them more difficult to beat.