After the Premier League clubs once again voted down a motion to increase the number of substitutions allowed per game, Mikel Arteta was left frustrated.
For the third time this season, Premier League clubs voted this week on the option to increase the number of substitutions allowed per game from three to five.
UEFA competitions have already adopted the change, as have the EFL and the FA Cup. Yet the Premier League rejected the proposal once again, with only 10 clubs voting for it (14 are required to pass it).
Journalists at Mikel Arteta’s pre-Everton press conference asked him whether he could understand the clubs that voted down the motion.
“At the moment, no, because I think the most important thing at the moment is the welfare of the players and the best way to protect them and have options to protect them is to have the option to extend the substitutes,” Arteta said.
“So it’s like yes, we’ll give you a little bit of this so that you can have an extra two on the bench but not the option to change. We are the only ones doing that and for me, that doesn’t make a lot of sense but obviously, it’s not up to us.
“We are pushing, we are giving our opinions and we have a lot of stats to support what is happening in the Premier League in terms of injuries but still, there is no reaction.”
The full list of clubs that voted against the change is as follows: Aston Villa, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Fulham, Leicester City, Leeds United, Newcastle United, Sheffield United, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers.
It’s a bit of a surprise to see Leicester City on the list, given they have an ongoing Europa League campaign. They may come to regret their decision if they pick up multiple injuries in February.
For the rest of the clubs, it’s clear to see they’re just voting in their own self-interest, which is what you expect. The well-being of the players is clearly a secondary concern.