League One clubs will be able to make five substitutions from this weekend – but Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer has revealed he voted against the change.
The Addicks will be able to name a squad of 18 for Saturday’s match at Gillingham. The rule has come into play for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.
An EFL statement on Wednesday afternoon said: “Following consultation with clubs, the EFL board has agreed to increase the permitted number of substitutes to five in all Sky Bet EFL fixtures taking place from 12 noon on Friday 20 November for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.”
Speaking before the announcement, Bowyer said: “If you increase it then it helps teams – it should definitely help sides with bigger squads or better squads.
“We had it at the end of last season when we came back from lockdown and I didn’t feel like it helped us, really.
“I voted for three subs – that’s the game.
“I know we’re in crazy times at the moment and it is difficult but the game is the game.
“But we’ll go with the flow. I just think the less you tamper with the game, the better. It’s already becoming a non-contact sport. If someone just tackles someone they fall on the floor and get a foul when it isn’t. Too many changes are happening.
“I understand why they would go to five subs because of the number of games but that means you can change pretty much half your team in any match. That’s crazy, really, when you think logically about it.
“The way it can help is if you’d made three subs and then someone gets injured. But nine times out of 10 you are rarely going to make them three subs.
“If you look at the top sides – Manchester City and Liverpool – they make two subs a game, on average. We’re not really any different. If the back four are doing well and look solid then very rarely would you change that. It is more midfield and up front. If you’ve got two up top you’ve only got two to bring on. If a midfielder is struggling you bring a midfielder on.
“But very rarely do you tamper with the back four.”
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