New sub rule favours big clubs says Blades defender Basham


London (AFP)

Sheffield United defender Chris Basham fears the introduction of the five substitutes rule for the rest of the season will favour the Premier League's big clubs.

Chris Wilder's side are pushing for an unexpected place in the Champions League as the English top-flight season resumes on Wednesday with the Blades' trip to Aston Villa.

But concern over players suffering injuries due to the coronavirus long lay-off has convinced the authorities to allow five substitutions to be made instead of the usual three for the remainder of the campaign. The change has led to debate across European football over whether it is a good idea.

Basham, whose team are just five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, is concerned the new FIFA rule, designed to help clubs better manage the hectic fixture list, will favour those sides with bigger squads.

"I think the substitutes thing that has come in will affect us a little bit because we are not going to be as strong as the top six sides, Basham told BBC Radio on Sunday.

"But we are going to give it a good go and the manager would not let us do anything other than that.

"The manager said we can go from just being in the Premier League, staying up, or we can go and do something we've never done before and that is getting into Europe and getting into the Champions League."