GLEN JOHNSON: This week Glen gives his reaction to Man City’s FFP ruling being overturned, and shares his thoughts on the possibility of the five subs rule continuing next season.

Financial Fair Play

I don’t know the ins and outs of what Manchester City did in order to be accused of breaking Financial Fair Play regulations, but the thing that seems quite confusing to me is that you’re either guilty or you’re not. From my perspective, there’s either no fine and City are cleared of everything or it all stands and the ban is what it was originally. It doesn’t really wash that they are effectively ‘semi-guilty’ because that just muddies the waters and makes the whole thing confusing for everyone else. Of course you want to see City in the Champions League and them being a part of it makes the competition better, but there are rules for everyone to adhere to and if they are broken then clubs should be banned.  

Not playing in the Champions League would potentially have had ramifications on their playing squad, because if you’re one of Europe’s top sides and you see the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte not playing in the competition, you’re going to be eyeing them up. You’ll be thinking we’ve got a chance of getting these players now, so the fact City have avoided that is massive for them. Now they are able to keep hold of their best players as well as the fact they are able to attract other better players. If you think about it, the commercial value that being in the Champions League brings will massively outweigh the fine they’ve been given anyway, so you can understand why some feel they got off pretty lightly, all things considered. 

Not a fan of five subs

There’s a strong chance we could see five substitutes in the Premier League next season and I’m really not a fan of the idea. It massively favours the teams with bigger and better squads and although it will encourage managers to play the younger players, they aren’t going to set the world alight from the start. If Liverpool or City are playing one of the smaller teams in the league, the fact these teams can bring on the likes of Phil Foden and Naby Keita compared to youngsters just starting out means they’ve got an even bigger advantage than they already had. 

If it does get the green light, it will almost certainly make the gap between the top six and the rest bigger. These top sides are going to have players that can come on and win the game – a luxury the lower-ranked teams don’t have. It seems a really unfair measure and the one thing that makes the Premier League the league that we all love is that it’s so competitive and this measure could easily reduce that. 

Liverpool’s mistakes a mild concern

It’s completely understandable that Liverpool have taken their foot off the gas since they were confirmed as the champions, but it doesn’t hide the fact that they aren’t playing very well. I don’t think Jurgen Klopp will be overly worried by what’s going on, but losing is a habit and he’ll want to stop it happening soon, particularly with one eye on next season. 

The last few results have really shown that if a team’s performances drop by as little as five or 10 percent, any team in the Premier League can beat you. Motivation is obviously pretty low at the moment, but if there’s anyone that can pick his players up, it’s Klopp. 

I do think he’ll spend this summer, not necessarily in reaction to these results, but more because teams need to develop and it looks like a couple of players will leave too. If Thiago Alcantara did come in for the rumoured fee of £18m then it might be the best buy in the world. I’d be pretty chuffed to get him for £50m let alone £18m, so if Liverpool could pull off the deal, it would be a serious statement ahead of next season.

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