Premier League clubs have voted to stick with three substitutions this season – dashing hopes of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp for another temporary rule change.
The Reds were among several clubs pressing for the return of five substitutions, which was introduced when last season resumed after lockdown in June given the heavy workload on players after more than three months out of action.
An initial vote last month saw the majority of clubs choose to return to the regular three substitutions and 18-man matchday squads, which had been used before the last campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.
But a fresh motion was defeated at the latest Premier League meeting on Thursday, with many believing the rule favoured clubs with bigger squads at the top of the table.
Klopp, though, was insistent the welfare of players should be paramount given the hectic schedule that awaits Premier League teams when the new season officially starts next weekend.
When asked about the five substitutes rule after the Community Shield defeat to Arsenal on Saturday, the Reds boss said: “Am I in favour? Yes.
“I know the discussions will go again if it is an advantage for the bigger clubs but I don’t discuss it from that point of view.
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“We have 38 Premier League games in a season that is four weeks shorter, that says it all.”
Clubs had already decided drinks breaks, also brought in for the closing weeks of last season, would no longer take place.
However, there is now an increasingly possibility all games played behind closed doors will be broadcast on television.
A further Premier League meeting will take place next week.