There has been a lot to get used to since the football season resumed. Players often walk out of the tunnel at different times (handy for a guard of honour), drinks breaks are mandatory and managers can use up to five subs in a game. The new laws surrounding subs could be set to stay, if the rule change remains then Liverpool may need to rethink their transfer policy.
The new rule
As footballers were faced with a sudden return to action following months of atrophying on the sofa, the IFAB decided that managers should be able to make up to five subs per game to protect the health and fitness of the players.
Gaffers are still only allowed three stoppages to make these subs, meaning that the added flexibility can’t be used to tactically disrupt the rhythm of the game.
The IFAB are thought to be considering retaining the change for the coming season and potentially even beyond.
Up the stingy Reds
The impact of the global health crisis has forced Liverpool to accept that they can’t operate as freely in the transfer market as they would have liked.
The loss of gate receipts from the tail end of the current campaign and the forthcoming season, along with pre-season tournament fees, has left the club without a significant amount of money they were counting on.
Jürgen Klopp recently admitted that incoming transfers are unlikely as the club looks to recover losses sustained during the pandemic.
Rule change rethink?
Having five subs at the managers disposal gives the gaffer much greater tactical flexibility – changes to the approach can be made and remade effectively throughout the game with more room to chop and change the personnel on the pitch.
However, the rule change being extended into next season may force Liverpool to rethink their transfer policy.
The likes of Manchester City and Chelsea would be set to benefit greatly from the change as they can afford significant strength in depth. The Man City bench often totals in the hundreds of millions in transfer fees, meaning that where other clubs’ fifth sub is likely to be a teenage prospect, City’s fifth sub is more likely to be a £60m superstar.
The Reds may need to invest in the transfer market in order to make the most of the rule change being retained for next season or they could risk giving their competitors a head start.