Pep Guardiola has joined Jurgen Klopp in blasting the Premier League over changing the substitution rule.
As part of Project Restart, the number of subs allowed in a match was extended to five.
This was to cope with the added injury problems that were likely to rise as a result of a condensed list of fixtures combined with a lack of training.
However, that rule was scrapped this campaign – despite all teams failing to undergo a proper pre-season programme.
Measures to continue the five-sub rule were voted down by a majority of clubs in the Premier League.
And it is starting to take effect on the players, with 50 per cent more muscular problems already.
Liverpool boss Klopp was fuming with the decision, with his team being hit hard.
And Guardiola has joined his voice, taking aim at club chiefs who have taken the decision away from Premier League coaches.
“It’s time to take care of the main reason everybody is in this business, which is the football players,” he said.
“Some players have 8 days, 10 days off [if they don’t play in European competition] so forget about the five substitutions [giving] an advantage for some teams.
“It’s to protect the players, all of them.
“The last 15, 20, 25, 30 minutes of games are when players who are playing every three days start to suffer.
“The rule is to protect them, that’s all. Why all around the world is it happening in all the leagues – in Italy, in Germany, in Spain, everywhere.
“But here, which is the more demanding for many reasons, we cannot protect the players?
“It’s not about protecting Man City.
“It’s about protecting all Premier League players and the statistics speak for themselves – almost 50 per cent more muscular injuries than last season.
“Why? Because the players play not being recovered from the previous game but also maybe most of them not from the previous season.
“It has happened in all the other leagues so why should we not do it? It make no sense, honestly – no sense. “