Alex McLeish is deeply unimpressed after West Brom revealed an agreement with West Ham stopped Robert Snodgrass from playing on Tuesday night.
The former Aston Villa and Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, has insisted he does not want to see “gentleman’s agreements” which determine when a player can and cannot play for his team.
Sam Allardyce confirmed before Tuesday’s game that the Scottish winger was unavailable due to an agreement in place with the Hammers following his move to the Hawthorns.
— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) January 19, 2021
Sky Sports have since reported the 33-year-old’s transfer is under investigation by the Premier League over a potential rule breach.
Players on loan between top-flight sides are not allowed to play against their parent club but Snodgrass made a permanent move from east London earlier this month.
McLeish believes the rule regarding loan players should be abolished but admitted it would have been more controversial had the former West Ham man netted the winner for the Baggies.
McLeish told Football Insider: “There’s been a kind of rule about loans over the years, hasn’t there, and I think one or two countries like Italy didn’t use the rule and players were allowed to play against their own clubs.
“It’s just one of these rules that causes a little bit of controversy when something like this happens. I’m sure if Robert Snodgrass had played last night and scored the winner then we’d be talking about even more controversial terms this morning.
“I think it’s a ruling that shouldn’t exist, that the player, when he goes to a new club should be allowed to play against his old club, and no gentlemen’s agreement.”
Goals from Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio sealed a 2-1 win for West Ham on Tuesday, with Matheus Pereira netting for the Baggies.
Allardyce could bring Snodgrass back into the side for West Brom’s home tie against Manchester City.