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07th Jan 2022

Ralph Hasenhuttl suggests January signings should be ineligible for rearranged fixtures

Callum Boyle

‘It’s not really fair to play in games that have been postponed’

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has urged the Premier League to consider preventing clubs from allowing their January signings to play in rearranged fixtures.

Top-flight clubs are dealing with a backlog of fixtures at present, with many rescheduled this month in order to prevent a heavy fixture pile-up towards the end of the season.

But Hasenhuttl believes that any new signings should be deemed ineligible to play if they were signed in the January window.

“We were discussing in the last Premier League meeting about what happens with the winter signings in the postponed games and whether they are allowed to play or not,” he told the Athletic.

“I raised it at the last Premier League meeting and that we should think about it because of the integrity of the league.

“It’s not really fair to play in games that have been postponed and the last word hasn’t been spoken so far.”

While it’s understood that it would be unlikely for this decision to be made, should the Premier League consider the Saints boss’ proposal and go through with it, the likes of Newcastle United and Aston Villa would be affected, meaning recent arrivals Kieran Trippier and Philippe Coutinho would be barred from playing certain rearranged matches.

Hasenhuttl added that while he wasn’t directly asking for the rule to be enforced, it would help to make the competition a more level playing field.

He said: “We have 18 games postponed so far, and it is something that you cannot stop playing in December and wait for the signings in January to play,”

“Nobody has done this, but it could be an opportunity in the future and this is what we shouldn’t get.

“But it’s also the same for us because we have a new owner and could sign four players and then play against Brentford with a different team.

“This is not fair, and it’s why they should be thinking about it.”

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