Six Premier League icons have been omitted from this year’s Hall of Fame shortlist – including Matt Le Tissier and Patrice Evra – despite being named to last year’s list.
The First Division has announced a group of 15 legends who can be selected to join the exclusive Hall of Fame club – launched in 2021 – with fans now invited to cast their votes to induct three players alongside the 16 existing superstars.
However, there was a surprise after the absence of a group of high-profile names after the unveiling of a smaller than usual squad in the English Premier League.
Le Tissier, Evra, Teddy Sheringham, Edwin van der Sar, Robin van Persie and Ruud van Nistelrooy are excluded from the shortlist, having achieved cuts in 2022.
Southampton legend Le Tissier has come under fire for his controversial opinions and conspiracy theories. The former Sky Sports analyst – who was sacked by the broadcaster in 2020 – has consistently promoted theories about Covid and vaccines, claiming PCR tests were ‘the biggest scam ever done to mankind’.
Matt Le Tissier and Patrice Evra are among six players left out of this year’s Premier League Hall of Fame nominees
First Class has announced 15 candidates this year – down from 25 selected in 2022
He also said the images of destruction in Ukraine were “fake” and retweeted alleging that the media had “lied” about a number of stories.
Also missing is Man United’s icon Evra – who was found guilty by a Paris court for making homophobic remarks in 2019, which led to him dubbing PSG ‘queers’. He has since apologized and admitted he had “a lot to learn”.
The six shortlisted players come despite every player on the 2021 shortlist being nominated for the 2022 edition – when there were 25 candidates.
The absence of the Dutch trio Van der Sar, Van Nistelrooy and Van Persie will be a shock, especially after their impressive success in the English Premier League and with Manchester United. Former goalkeeper Van der Sar played 186 league matches and won the title four times, while Van Nistelrooy scored 95 goals in 150 league matches.
Van Persie scored 144 goals in his spells with Arsenal and United and won the title in his first season with the Red Devils in 2012-13.
The Premier League said the number of recruits could vary each season – and said that as there were three recruits instead of six previously, the number of candidates has been adjusted accordingly.
Le Tissier has been criticized for controversial views on Covid, vaccines and the conflict in Ukraine
Man United icons Ruud van Nistelrooy and Edwin van der Sar are also left out of the list
This year, Jermain Defoe and Michael Carrick were nominated for the first time as part of 15 players honored for their “extraordinary” record of success.
A total of 16 Premier League icons have been inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame since its inception in 2021, including Thierry Henry, Alan Shearer and David Beckham.
And earlier this week, Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger also became the first managers to enter the esteemed club.
Several former players have been nominated for a third time this year, having missed out on a Hall of Fame spot on two previous occasions; With Tony Adams, Sol Campbell, Andy Cole, Ashley Cole, Les Ferdinand, Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, John Terry and Nemanja Vidic all hoping to get lucky for the third time in 2023.
Petr Cech, Gary Neville and Yaya Toure are also in the running again having made the shortlist for the first time in 2022.
The shortlist takes into account Premier League statistics for players who have retired as of January 1, 2023, as well as voting data from previous Hall of Fame shortlists.
Sir Alex Ferguson (left) and Arsene Wenger (right) have been inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame – the first two coaches so honoured.
2023 Hall of Fame nominees
Fans can vote for the Premier League legend they want to be inducted into the Hall of Fame by clicking here Or using the official Premier League app.
Voting is open until 6pm on Monday, April 10th, and the three newest recruits will be revealed on Wednesday, May 3rd.
Each recruit receives a personal medal along with a £10,000 donation from the Premier League to the charity of their choice.
It comes after both Ferguson and Wenger acknowledged their pride in becoming the first managers to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“I am really happy to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame. Ferguson, who won 13 trophies in his legendary career as Manchester United manager, said it was an honor to receive such recognition.
However, it is not just about me as a person. It’s about working at Manchester United and the league we’ve had over many years, so I’m also proud of the club, the staff and the players.
My job was to send the fans home happy. United’s history and my own expectations were the things that pushed me and then I had to try to develop all my players with the same expectations and make sure we could go out and deliver.
Wenger added: “I am very grateful to have been selected into the Premier League Hall of Fame. We have always wanted to give something special to the fans and when you have players capable of great things the most important thing for me is perfection.
“I would like to be known as someone who loved Arsenal, who respected the club’s values and left it in a position where it can grow and become even bigger.”