Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp attacks Burnley in unprovoked rant about substitutions rule

By Sean Walsh
Klopp is not happy
Klopp is not happy / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/GettyImages
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Jurgen Klopp has become the latest manager to criticise the Premier League's decision not to allow the use of five substitutions this season - and has fired shots at Burnley in the process.

Clubs were permitted to make five changes in-game rather than three during the back end of the 2019/20 season after the restart and for the entirety of the 2020/21 campaign.

While clubs are now still allowed to name nine players on their bench rather than the seven permitted pre-pandemic, they are only able to use three - an outlier for much of the rest of Europe.

Clubs voted on the decision before the start of the season and were asked about it again recently amid Covid-19 outbreaks, but on both occasions did not receive the required 14 votes to pass the motion.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has been vocal in his concerns regarding the rule, and Liverpool's Klopp has joined his compatriot in criticising this decision.

"A top class player in England plays in the Premier League around about 38 games," Klopp began.

"Cup games - two cup competitions - so maybe you don't go to the final, but let's just add on another five, that's 43. They have games with the national team, pretty much all of them play for their national teams, eight, nine or ten games a year.

"Plus Champions League games - the further you go, the more games it is. You count pretty quick, it's more than 50 games or higher. My first season here, we played the [Europa League] final - it was the 64th game [of the 2015/16 season], right?

"So yes, you have squads, but there are some key players that will only be out [of the lineup] when they are injured.

"But the decision [regarding substitutes] is made. We realised again in the managers' meeting it was like that. The decision is made by 14 clubs. I think you need 14 votes to change it. There's something wrong.

"As an example, Burnley, I'm not sure how many players play international football. When our players have three games {on international duty], they have no game. So they play 38 Premier League games, two cups - three or four more games - so that makes it 42.

"So we talk about an issue that some clubs definitely have, some players definitely have, but it's decided by other teams. And because we make kind of a competition of it, it's like 'no, they are definitely better than us' and stuff like this. And that's a real problem because it's the right decision [to allow five substitutes] especially in this moment because if you bring players back after Covid infection or injuries and because of the games you have to play, you have to play them immediately.

"And then they're out again because you cannot get them off after 60 minutes because you have to change other things. That's a real problem.

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