FINALLY, at long last, the Premier League has seen the light! BBC Sport reports that “The Premier League has changed their rules on so called ‘weakened’ teams. Top flight clubs will now be allowed to pick any player in their 25 man matchday squad without fear of sanction” Read the full BBC report HERE. All I can say is hear, hear. Common sense has won the day. Truly Reds made comment on this matter two months ago in THIS article prior to the final match of the season. At that time, United were being threatened with being fined if Sir Alex Ferguson fielded what the League did not consider to be his strongest side.
This is what we had to say at the time “It (the Premier League) cannot have it both ways! If a squad has to be named, EVERY player in it MUST be able to participate in any of their fixtures with no questions asked, just as they do in UEFA competitions. How can anyone reasonably think otherwise?”
The 20 Premier League clubs have agreed at their AGM in early June that any combination of players named in their registered 25 man squads will be able to start a match. The rule has not been totally withdrawn and clubs will still be at risk of a fine if they select a number of younger players from outside their nominated squad. The 25 man squad rules allows clubs to pick under 21 players beyond those named in their squad list so it was agreed that it was appropriate for the rule to remain in place in order to ensure the integrity of the competition.
Finally, as Truly Reds pointed out two months ago “Granted, some flexibility may need to exist for unexpected circumstances like players transferred in and out in the January transfer window or for long term injuries like those suffered by Owen Hargreaves but any tweaking to the rules should not be difficult to implement. The bottom line is that if clubs are required to name their squads – which there can be very few arguments against, everything else has to be consistent with that rule, just as it is with UEFA.”
A rule which should have been abolished at the same time as the one of naming a 25 man squad was introduced 12 months ago has at last been buried once and for all.
Is this change of rule good for the Premier League?