Ange Postecoglou wants SPFL to consider interesting rule change that could benefit Celtic

By David Walton

December 23, 2021

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has encouraged the SPFL to reintroduce the 5 substitute rule given the hectic schedule.

Celtic have played 8 games come the end of the month before the winter break sets in. Throughout that period, a host of top stars have picked up injuries due to fatigue and the intensity of the fixture list.

Last season, the SPFL allowed clubs to make 5 substitutions during Premiership matches due to the pandemic. The purpose of which was to ensure the protection of player welfare given they had to play a massive number of fixtures after a long period without games. Thus, it increased the risk of injuries and gave clubs the chance to rest more of their players when appropriate.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

It’s a rule that was taken away this season as football seemed to return to normality. However, with Celtic having played as many as 35 games already this term, the manager believes it’s time to consider reintroducing the rule.

Speaking on Sky Sports News today [23/12, 14:35], Postecoglou said: “I think there are a couple of things there. That’s one aspect and with Covid still hanging around there are some challenges in terms of you may lose players because of positive tests.

“But if you’ve got injuries that can also come from clubs being unable to rotate or rest players. I think it’s something that should be looked at if we’re going to continue these kinds of schedules.”

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5 substitution rule would benefit Celtic, but would others back it?

You have to say everything about the 5 substitution rule would be a leg-up for Celtic. After all, given how intense Postecoglou’s training is combined with the schedule, it allows us to rest more players when necessary. This would avoid the odd hamstring strain for example and ensure we could keep more players fit.

However, critics of the rule believe that it’s something that only affects the bigger clubs. Celtic have a massively superior talent pool to many others in Scotland. Therefore, it allows the Hoops to bring more top talents onto the pitch and puts their opponents at a disadvantage.

But if we’re talking about player welfare, it’s something that should definitely be considered. We’ve had far too many injuries this season, and Postecoglou would’ve loved the chance to make more subs when possible.

Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

For example, would we be 6 points behind Rangers if that rule was still in place? Who knows? It certainly would’ve meant that more players would’ve been fit for the St Mirren game. Same goes for our 0-0 stalemate against Livingston last month.

It’s not something that appears to be on the agenda at the moment. And any rule change would of course have to wait for next season. But it would certainly give Celtic more pros than cons.

Whether it would get the backing of many others, however, is doubtful.

In other news, It’s time for Celtic’s new CEO to do something he’s continued to avoid

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