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CHIEF EXEC: We're saying no on that particular vote

Nigel Clibbens on drink breaks and substitutes

29 July 2020

Fans who have watched recent play-off and Championship fixtures will have seen the introduction of a drink break midway through each half, and what appears at times to be an unlimited use of substitutes.

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Chief Executive Nigel Clibbens confirmed that these issues are up for a vote when the EFL next sits down to discuss the 20/21 season.

“We’ve been asked to give our feedback on the use of breaks within games, and our reply has been ‘no thank you,’” he said. “I think there’s no need for them, they disrupt the flow of the game and I think it’s tinkering for tinkering’s sake … and I’m someone who likes to tinker.

“That has no upside as far as I can see.”

And on the potential for an increased number of substitutes, he told us: “Again, we’ve been asked whether we want five substitutes and, from our point of view as a club, we’ve decided we don’t want that.

“I think I could support it if, from the five subs available, the last two were club developed players. That would need the normal rules for three subs to apply, but if you want to give an opportunity to an academy player who is a club developed player then, yes, open it up and let’s get more opportunities.”

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“When it comes to things like this I talked earlier about having everything joined together,” he added. “If one of your motivations is to get losses down and cut your costs, why are we then saying that we want to do is make it a 16-man game as opposed to a 14-man game on the pitch?

“Having worked with many managers I know one of the first things they’ll say is that they need a stronger bench. So rather than having a squad that needs a certain amount of people, it becomes that certain amount of people plus two, because he’s going to use them a lot.

“As we all know, managers use a lot of substitutes anyway, because if they have the opportunity they’ll use them.

“It really is a situation at the moment of on the one hand, let’s sort out wage controls, at the same time as asking us if we want to spend some more money on players.

“Going back full circle, some owners would say ‘yeah, absolutely, I want to spend more money on players’ because they control their club and they can afford to do it. They’ll tell people to stop interfering because they want more options.

“This is where you end up with different views on everything.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Nigel Clibbens on iFollow United now.

Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.

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