By Keith Hackett

14th Jun, 2022 | 9:30am

Ex-Premier League referee: Officials told to be on red alert after confirmed Sunderland news

Referees need to be on red alert to ensure Sunderland and other EFL teams do not use the introduction of five substitutes as a time-wasting method.

That is the view of ex-Fifa and Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the reintroduction of five subs for the 2022-23 season.

The EFL confirmed on Friday (10 June) that clubs had voted for the change at their annual general meeting.

The change was temporarily introduced when Championship football restarted after the pandemic in June 2020 before it reverted back to three for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 campaigns.

“It raises the issue of time,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“I was interested in reading that the Dutch FA were going to experiment with an independent time keeper and I hope that works.

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“For me, I would take the independent timekeeper every day and it is where we need to go.

“I know tactically you make changes but maybe I’m one that says, unless it’s a serious injury then we don’t need to make changes.

“This is coming in. Referees have got to be very aware now that they are very careful with managing time because they not have been doing as well as they should be in that area.

“I think the game owes it to the fans to try and say ‘We want to give value for money’.

“If you’re a fan of a team winning 1-0 and you’re getting hard pressed you’d be happy for your manager to use that swinging door of changes.”

In other news, Kieran Maguire has lambasted ’embarrassing’ Sunderland takeover lies after a talks update.