Chorus Against Anti-Vaxxers Grows in Premier League as Managers Hint at Signing Only Jabbed Players
13:39 GMT 27.12.2021 (Updated: 11:44 GMT 10.12.2022)
With several Premier League games cancelled during the last three weeks due to a massive COVID outbreak in dressing rooms across all major clubs, calls for signing only fully vaccinated footballers are growing in the United Kingdom. The move has now got the backing of two of the most powerful managers in Great Britain.
Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has backed Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp’s suggestion of recruiting only fully jabbed players during the upcoming winter transfer season and next season’s summer.
Rangnick and Klopp, two of the most revered men in English football, believe that unvaccinated players are a liability in the current circumstances with the Omicron variant of the deadly COVID-19 virus causing havoc across the island nation.
Non-vaccinated players pose a serious risk of spreading the virus in the camp in addition to missing out on games for an extended period.
Only last week, the Football Association, the parent organisation of the Premier League, revealed that at least 16 percent of footballers in the world’s most popular competition in the sport are yet to take their first jab.
Rangnick has experienced the disastrous consequences of COVID from close quarters, as United’s matches against Brentford and Brighton were postponed earlier this month due to spiralling cases among the club’s players.
“Yes, I think it could be a consideration and I fully understand what Jurgen said but it also depends if you want to sign a player and risk him not being available”, Rangnick told British daily The Telegraph on Monday. “This is an issue the clubs seriously have to think about. If you sign a player knowing from the very first day that he has not been vaccinated, you have to be aware that he might not be available - not only for 10 days but this could happen regularly in COVID times”.
Last week, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp announced that he won’t even consider signing a player who hasn't been vaccinated, as he would remain a “constant threat” for the rest of his teammates.
"If a player is not vaccinated at all, he is a constant threat for all of us. He doesn't want to be a threat, it's not that he thinks 'I don't care about the others', but he is”, Klopp said.
According to Klopp, bringing an unvaccinated player on board is a “messy” affair, considering the club will have to manage all the logistics needed for both his and his colleagues' wellbeing.
"We'd have to find different scenarios. He has to change in a different dressing room, he has to eat in a different dining room, he has to sit in a different bus, he has to drive in a different car. If you really want to follow the protocols, it is incredibly difficult to do”, he concluded.