Sean Dyche's view on five substitutes and player welfare
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The Daily Mail has this morning reported that there is expected to be a vote on a return to the use of five subs at the annual general meeting in June, with the 20 club captains due to discuss the subject on a call on Tuesday.
Five subs were permitted upon Project Restart in June 2020, after the Premier League season was put on hold by the pandemic, but it reverted back to three at the start of last season, while all other major leagues and competitions in Europe retained five.
The move back to five is backed by the PFA, as well as long-time advocates Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola.
But a number of clubs feel it hands the big clubs an advantage, in that they can better rotate their squads and keep more players happy with more game time.
Clarets boss Dyche holds such an opinion, saying in November 2020
"“For the big clubs who play lots of games, of course it’s useful.
”It gives them the ability to use players who are fresher and more ready, but of course it does favour the big clubs because if you are one of the superpowers they probably carry 20-plus international footballers, so they can use them more regularly.
”It will, in my opinion, help them over a season.
“For smaller clubs like ourselves, it’s detrimental slightly as if teams opposite us have 20-plus players who they can use, then it’s a positive for them and not so useful for us.
”As we’ve seen, we carry a small squad, we can’t afford the same quality as the big teams, and if you get injuries it becomes very difficult.”
Maheta Molango, the Chief Executive of the PFA, however, feels it is more about player welfare: 'We are absolutely in favour of it.
"We have made this clear to the Premier League. It should never have been a discussion about competitive advantage because it has nothing to do with competitive advantage - as studies show. This is purely a question of player welfare.
"When so many games need to be played we need to make sure the players get a chance to rest properly.”
However, as Dyche said in December on player welfare
"The thing that I find interesting is that I keep hearing this term player welfare.
"And I’ve got to be honest: my players here are fantastically looked after.
"There are lots of demands on the superpowers, but we’ve got strength and conditioning, psychologist support, health and wellbeing, dietitians, a lot of players have home chefs.
"Players are really well looked after.
"They’ve got the best medical support. It makes me question this idea of player welfare. The welfare is off the scale for me.
"Look at Frank Lampard, he was knocking out 60 games a season and then England internationals on top. Season after season.
"I don’t remember too much then about player welfare.
"Times change and I like to think I change with them but there has to be something inside you of what your beliefs are in football and go, “come on, let’s get on with the challenge”.