BBC have just announced VAR is coming in next season, while the League Cup will no longer have replays extra time, going to penalties if games are tied after 90 minutes.

Extra time will now only be played in the final at Wembley, while the ABBA penalty format is also to be scrapped.

VAR to be used at Premier League grounds

Also, Premier League clubs will be given a winter break in February starting in the 2019-20 campaign. The break will be staggered across two weeks, with five games set to be played each weekend, meaning the FA Cup 5th round will be moved to accommodate the changes.

Premier League announce winter break to start in the 2019-20 season

Reader Comments (51)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 08/06/2018 at 14:52:44
Sensible decison on VAR. About time.

Also the replays... tell you what. Just scrap the whole thing. We never win it anyway.

As for the supposed winter break, sounds like it's a weekend off for half the teams at a time?

Steve Ferns
2 Posted 08/06/2018 at 15:02:34
I thought VAR would be a good thing, but there was a lot of criticism of it last season in Germany. I hope we can avoid the same problems.

The winter break is something we definitely need. I was waiting for more information to understand what they mean by half the games one week and half the next. It sounds very vague. I suppose if you play week A, then you miss the next weekend and so have a two week break, and if you play week B then you miss the first weekend and get a two week break that way, whilst TV doesn't miss out.

John Pierce
3 Posted 08/06/2018 at 15:06:27
Whilst VAR in its current form is not fit for purpose to have it only available at certain grounds is cause for concern. I'm not entirely sure it is even-handed for a competition to allow that to happen.

Changes in any sport should be applicable at all levels; nevertheless, I get the argument for VA at the top level.

As for the mid-season break, I'm sure the teams will have high profile friendlies or warm weather camps which will piss the public off no end.

Rob Halligan
4 Posted 08/06/2018 at 15:21:29
There has been no replays in the league cup for years.

There will be no replays in the FA Cup from the fifth round onwards, which will also be played in midweek, if that's what the OP means?

Rob Halligan
5 Posted 08/06/2018 at 15:30:44
Just read the BBC football website. They say, as Steve says, games will go direct to penalties in the League Cup if tied after 90 minutes.

Seeding also removed, so that means we could be drawn against a Premier League team in Round 2.

Ash Moore
6 Posted 08/06/2018 at 15:39:16
Yep Michael - a "half round".

February though?
Michael Kenrick
7 Posted 08/06/2018 at 15:51:26
Sorry, Rob (#4 & #5), you are dead right – my bad, embellishing Steve's original post to cover these additional changes beyond VAR.
Michael Kenrick
8 Posted 08/06/2018 at 15:58:52
This is also a sign of changing times:

EFL clubs vote to end compulsory matchday programme publication

I feel another lament from John McFarlane Snr coming on...

Steve Carse
9 Posted 08/06/2018 at 16:52:26
Ridiculous on VAR. Not fit for purpose. What's the odds the RS would now be holding their 6th European Championship trophy if VAR was in use against a Real Madrid side reduced to 10 men after the dismissal of Ramos?

VAR can make anything look like a foul. Prepare for games taking 10 minutes longer to finish and for few VAR judgements being 100% accepted as correct post-match.

Anyway, I thought the Premier League had already decided against its introduction this season?

Dermot Byrne
10 Posted 08/06/2018 at 16:59:51
Before you know it they will be giving more money to the top 6 clubs.

Oh wait a minute


Steve Ferns
11 Posted 08/06/2018 at 17:08:05
First step down a slippery slope, Dermot.
Lawrence Green
12 Posted 08/06/2018 at 17:13:43
Agree with Steve @ 11, this 'compromise' will mean the 'Big Six' have opened the door and they will continue to push for a bigger share each year until they end up getting the lions share of the overseas TV revenue. We have to hope that Everton can somehow manage to break into that top six in the next five years else we will find ourselves further and further behind.
Will Mabon
13 Posted 08/06/2018 at 17:20:57
Similar managed decline tactics as are being used on the country and much of the western world. All intended to remodel and reshape the game for optimum business efficiency and social control, not natural evolution. The involvement of the lovely, beneficent Amazon is a very disappointing milestone. Just about everything is being co-opted.
Steve Carse
14 Posted 08/06/2018 at 17:25:04
My biggest gripe against VAR is the driving force behind it – it has been forced onto the agenda on the grounds of the money now in the game and refs' mistakes being costly in financial terms.

So the moneyed boys, the rich owners, the financial club backers, have now had their concerns addressed, but at what will undoubtedly be a cost in terms of the enjoyment of the spontaneity, drama, and flow that football provides to the spectator.

Dermot Byrne
15 Posted 08/06/2018 at 17:29:06
Agree Steve... a very slippery slope.

But not surprising. Same game played by G7 countries for years.

Seems a sad inevitability to this and fans are so partisan they will probably never get together to save their game.

I understand the hope that Everton climb into the top 6 to benefit but in end we would just be part of a tedious moneyfest. Remember that Python sketch when the guy ate so much he just exploded?

Steve Carse
16 Posted 08/06/2018 at 17:34:47
Have just re-read the BBC piece -- just realised the use of VAR next season is only for the League Cup (and only therefore at PL grounds).
Mike Gaynes
17 Posted 08/06/2018 at 17:49:19
Good eye, Steve Carse. You are correct. VAR is not happening yet in the Premier League itself, only in Carabao Cup games hosted at Premier League grounds.

I'm positive about VAR in general. Getting it right with only a few seconds' delay is a good thing – yes, driven by money, but also by justice. There are always hiccups in deploying a new VAR system, along with lots of grumbles from traditionalists, but here in the US we've seen video review systems deployed in all the major sports, and generally it has proven to be more and more positive as the systems have gotten quicker and less disruptive.

Sean Patton
18 Posted 08/06/2018 at 17:50:21

They wouldn't have even got to the final if VAR was already in place.

Steve Carse
19 Posted 08/06/2018 at 18:11:12
True, Sean.

On the other matter concerning the League Cup, can anyone explain the rationale of doing away with extra time?

To my mind, extra time is fairer in determining who goes through and it is often the case that the extra 30 minutes is the best and most entertaining part of the whole game.

Also, doesn't it provide the managers of the Premier League sides the opportunity of giving fringe squad members and youngsters a greater chance of getting on the pitch?

Against all this, the benefits of having no extra time are...?

Gerry Quinn
20 Posted 08/06/2018 at 18:38:07
STOP fucking around with the cup competitions to appease one or two greedy bastards!!!!
Steve Carse
21 Posted 08/06/2018 at 18:53:28
Returning to your point, Sean (#18), I am much less against the use of VAR in situations like offside which are black and white and not requiring one person's subjective assessment. So no problem with VAR having shown that, in the RS games against City, they got two incorrect decisions in their favour, decisions which I believe determined the outcome.

But the incidents in the Final involving Ramos, if VAR was in operation, would very possibly have resulted in two bookings and so a sending off. Yet they are far from clearcut and so ultimately just as subject to the VAR judge operator's personal opinion as the ref's.

You don't think my perspective is somewhat biased here, do you?

Bill Watson
22 Posted 08/06/2018 at 20:06:31
The FA Cup 5th Round will be played in midweek and there'll be no replays. So, small clubs, drawn at home, will lose the chance of earning a once in a lifetime visit to a 'big' club.

Slowly, but surely, the magic is being sucked out of the FA Cup.

John McFarlane Snr
23 Posted 08/06/2018 at 20:22:02
Hi Michael, [8] you were right to anticipate a reaction from me. To begin with, I can't argue against goal-line technology because the decision to allow or disallow a goal is instant. I know that I am not alone in opposing VAR. I feared that this was the thin end of the wedge. An example that I use in my opposition of VAR is that of a linesman (you see – I still live in the past) who wrongly awards a throw-in to a team, from which a goal is scored, is just as important as to whether the ball has crossed the goalline. There are lots of situations where incorrect decisions can be legitimately challenged; fortunately for me at my age, they will not be in place for me to witness them.

I wonder if you can tell me how the clubs further down the pecking order will view the apparent injustice of not only operating without the present technology, but falling behind in what will surely follow? It appears to me that promotion and relegation issues are only of importance to the Premier League (formerly First Division) and Championship (formerly Second Division). What started in 1888 as a 12-club competition and was built up over the years into a 92-club competition, is being fragmented slowly but surely by the greed of the few.

I was naïve enough in 1992 to believe that, with the formation of the FA Premier League, the only thing to change would be the name, but – and it saddens me to say this (as Everton were prime movers in establishing the greed culture), the game which to an extent was always about money, became likened to a 'pigs at the trough' bonanza.

With regard to the abolition of matchday programmes, and extra time in what I still refer to as the League Cup, I feel that the most important person, the supporter, is being disregarded completely, and I consider it one more sad day for football. I can feel my enthusiasm for the game rapidly waning.

John Pierce
24 Posted 08/06/2018 at 20:24:37
Extra time has long thought to result in too fewer out-comes, with too many games leading to penalties. It encourages a ‘have what we hold', no incentive for a side to go and win it.

Not sure if the stats bear that out.

One might argue the lower ranked side has a punchers chance, the lottery if you will if it goes straight to pens, Maybe?

You might feel extra time creates mores injuries through fatigue, we all know rolling subs would sort that out, again perhaps.

My preference has always been for it to be settled in extra time, by reducing the number of players to 7v7. It would in my view be both exciting and get a result without the lottery of a penalty shoot out.

One sudden death period of 15 minutes and rolling subs would give us a result more often than not I would think.
For many people for the golden goal thing was an issue, further encouraging both teams to sit back, but with seven players that cannot happen, too much open field to exploit.

It would lead to tactical innovation and new ideas to win a game. It would encourage attacking play and ultimately finish the game playing football rather than the angst of the shoot out.

The idea might seem too noveau or ‘American sports' styleee! But is the way we settle cup games now really any good? I'd argue not. It's dated, archaic and rarely exciting.

Real innovation in ‘the game' is sadly lacking of changes as rightly pointed out are feared around money.

Anyone tell me the last game Everton played in that had an exciting ET period? Maybe West Ham away but I cannot bring many to mind?

Rob Dolby
25 Posted 08/06/2018 at 20:30:54
I was all for the technology until we started seeing it in action. The German half time pen was beyond belief.

I just don't see the point, it will kill emotion and atmosphere at games.

I think for the TV viewer it gives another dimension and talking point for the punters but will ruin the game for the match going fan.

Lev Vellene
26 Posted 08/06/2018 at 20:37:19
At PL grounds only? So any away game at Swamp Moor is exempted?

Sounds like a wind-up!

Bill Griffiths
27 Posted 08/06/2018 at 21:12:33
I couldn't agree more, John; money and greed are slowly poisoning the game.

Sometimes, I think I get more fun/enjoyment watching Bangor City, my local team, but I couldn't give up on the Blues if I tried.

Jack Convery
28 Posted 09/06/2018 at 19:19:35
Current fans like us are addicted but, once we are gone, where will the future fans come from. The game is doomed - Scots accent. The teams will become franchises and move around the globe to new cities that give them the best financial package.

Just glad I'll be unaware of it all when it comes to pass — that's if compulsory euthanasia hasn't been voted in to save what is left of the fast dwindling public money. Remember Rollerball?

Jeff Armstrong
29 Posted 09/06/2018 at 19:33:18
The abolition of extra time is ridiculous – what's the point? I mean everyone is “there” on the night anyway, 90 minutes have finished so extra time ensues. What is the gain of going straight to pens? Same with that ridiculous Golden Goal thing, pointless again, everyone was there, so play it out to a fair conclusion.

I do think FA Cup ties should be sorted on the day, for every round. Yes, I know smaller clubs getting an away draw is a great result and then going back to their place,but if the original draw goes their way and they get a home tie, there will still be cup upsets.

Also, remember when we drew 1-1 with Altrincham in the 70s at Goodison, I was happy with a replay; now it would go to pens!!!

Dave Abrahams
30 Posted 09/06/2018 at 19:38:13
John (24), the Everton / Liverpool 4-4 game was very good, Dan Gosling's extra-time winner was better again and Mountfield's header versus Luton in the semi-final topped those two... there's three just off the top of my head.
Lawrence Green
31 Posted 09/06/2018 at 19:43:44
Dave # 30
In my opinion the best of the lot was Adrian Heath's winner at Highbury against Southampton in 1984 - Howard hadn't even realised that extra time was to be played at 90 minutes.
John Pierce
32 Posted 09/06/2018 at 20:10:38
Dave all good examples, the 4-4 I witnessed Everton showed a rare resilience that night.

The Gosling game was over 10years ago the others decades back, perhaps I was pointing to recent history and moreover extra time in general.

The general trend in cup competitions of all iterations is one of soporific almost passive encounters which live but a beat in ones memory.

I really think it's time to shake it up!

Dave Abrahams
33 Posted 09/06/2018 at 20:18:41
John (#32), yes, I wouldn't argue too much about no extra time, although all these changes in the last few years on and off the pitch are not always for the better of the game.
Darren Hind
34 Posted 09/06/2018 at 20:35:30
Bainsey's free kick in the last minute at Stamford bridge was another great example. Extra time followed, still couldn't split them... then the penalties.

The real fun started later on in the Fulham workies, when the bizzies asked about a hundred Evertonians to keep the noise down, drink up and go home... now that did go into extra time.

John McFarlane Snr
35 Posted 09/06/2018 at 20:44:02
Hi Jack [28] I have no knowledge of Rollerball, but I can remember when football was a joy to play and watch, unfortunately since the formation of the Premier League, my enthusiasm has been gradually drained, You will have seen from my previous post that I was far from enamoured with the changes already in place, and of those in the pipeline.

I haven't studied the latest proposals, but I'm led to believe that changes threaten the FA Cup and what we knew as the League Cup, and as I understand it, our poor footballers are in need of a winter break, which amounts to a complete weeks rest; no doubt they will return to the fray reinvigorated.

Football has just said goodbye to Ray Wilson, who played 35 League, 8 FA Cup, and 4 European games for Everton in the 1965-66 season, followed a couple months later by 6 appearances for England in the World Cup, the Final of which was played on Saturday 30 July 1966.

The start of the Football League season 1966-67 was Saturday 13 August 1966, preceded by the Charity Shield game against Liverpool. 'Oh Happy Days'.

Don Alexander
36 Posted 09/06/2018 at 20:55:53
Well said indeed, John McFarlane Snr. I

fondly remember the likes of the Sheff Utd team of Tony Currie and Alan Woodward, Clough's Derby and then his Forest, the Huddersfield of Fran Worthington vintage and Bobby Robson's Ipswich, all of whom were promoted into the top division and continued to play attractive winning football, with Cloughie way out as the most successful.

For decades now everyone knows before the season kicks off who's going to be top six and it's become way too boring as a consequence.

Andy Crooks
37 Posted 09/06/2018 at 21:57:43
John @ 23, a spot on post. Change is sometimes needed but not always. I am against VAR. This is a game played by humans and refereed by humans. We can analyse and suck the life, spirit and soul out of the game.

The referee is meant to be a bastard, linesmen are meant to be blind, pitches are meant to be heavy, slow, angry defenders are meant to get away with it.

We are devoping a sanitized version of football that makes me despair. Skill has always thrived but it took skill and character to thrive in the past. George Best never dived, went down as though shot by a sniper or brandished imaginary yellow cards.

There is one massive attribute lacking in too many professional footballers and that is the ability to feel shame or embarassment. I don't begrudge them a penny of their fortunes but I hope that our new coach will realize that integrity should be installed in every lad at Finch farm.

This has been typed on a failing kindle so, apologies for typos etc.

Don Alexander
38 Posted 09/06/2018 at 21:59:58
Doant wury, Andy, it red purfict.
Andy Crooks
39 Posted 10/06/2018 at 00:11:23
Nice one, Don.
Christopher Nicholls
40 Posted 10/06/2018 at 03:49:32
Don, you literally typed the words I was thinking. The human fallibility of the referee is an intrinsic part of the poetry of the game. Maybe I am an old romantic, but living in the USA has exposed me to much more of the American hobbies than I care for. They ceased to be sports many years ago and are now just over-produced theatrics to drape advertising around.

I have also witnessed the use of VAR at a live game or two this year at the LA Galaxy and – to be none too poetic – it fucking sucked the life out of the game.

Cue... 'The video's a wanker...'

Darren Murphy
41 Posted 10/06/2018 at 22:23:51
VAR, not sure that works properly... yet. Not something that has been any use as of yet.

If you can't score in 90 minutes, then how much more time do you want? Good, it'll go to penalties, so then we might see two teams going for it knowing the outcome will be settled that day via penalties. The aim of the game is to score more goals so I'm up for it.

Plus the game has changed hence the poor lads might be knackered and replays is more time playing for mega money and they're getting a winter break too. Bless em.

Steve Carse
42 Posted 10/06/2018 at 22:41:06
Darren (#41), sorry I just don't see the logic in your opposition to extra time. Surely knowing you only have to hold out for 90 minutes rather than 120 to even get to penalties will encourage a more defensive approach by the less fancied opposition.
Darren Murphy
43 Posted 10/06/2018 at 23:36:07
Steve, the whole point is win in 90 minutes, not hold off for penalties. The time is less than extra time obviously so both need to really go for it...

League games are 90 minutes but you can draw, but we are taking about cups. Makes sense to me.

Matthew Williams
44 Posted 12/06/2018 at 14:15:35
VAR will be interesting to see throughout the season, maybe the Sky Six won't get their own way in every game?

As for the League Cup part... does it matter? No doubt we won't turn up and no Blue (apart from me) will give a flying fuck about the competition.

We never bothered for the first 58 years... why start bothering in its 59th year? Moshiri, Brands & Silva haven't mentioned either of the domestic Cups so far... and therein lies the major problem!

Tony Abrahams
45 Posted 12/06/2018 at 14:50:55
The glory has been slowly leaving the game for years, when you think that coming 4th in the league is celebrated much more than winning a domestic cup competition these days...

Michael @1, I hope you're just trying to cry it in, mate, because I'm desperate for my kids to see Everton running round Wembley with any cup!

Tom Bowers
46 Posted 12/06/2018 at 15:50:03
Have to admit I want this technology to correct many of the mistakes that referees and linesmen have been making that could be affecting the results of games.

I admit they have a thankless job but when they became full time professionals I thought things would improve. They didn't.

My biggest beef is when they don't have the guts to call penalties on defenders who clutch and grab but would rather cop out and call it against the offensive player.

The offside call should only be made when there is clear daylight between the forward and last player. Change the rule for God's sake as there is too much guesswork to flag it when players are level.

Other decisions are acceptable when the referee clearly cannot see it but now, with a fourth official, they should be seen surely.

James Hopper
47 Posted 12/06/2018 at 16:41:53
I have always been 50/50 on video technology. I believe it could be beneficial to the game if implemented properly.

In its current guise, it's a complete clusterfuck. The crowd in the stadium has no clue what's going on. Even if the referee does review an incident himself he does so on a small CCTV screen. Why not use the big screens in the stadium? Are they scared of unrest amongst the fans? Why don't other sports have that worry? Why can't we listen to the referees discussions?

For me, some decisions being wrong is a part of the game. Even with VAR, it appears that decisions about offsides and fouls are still subjective. Is something a foul or not? How much contact does there have to be?

I'm just not sure anybody is really getting anything out of this version of VAR.

Brian Wilkinson
48 Posted 13/06/2018 at 00:30:03
I am all for a winter break, but you know damn well clubs will be flying off somewhere to take part in some promotional sponsorship within that break time.

As for Var, imagine if that was in place when we played our neighbours in the 77 semi, the 84 Milk cup final, the Panethinikas game, all the other times we have been on the receiving end.

We would have nothing to complain about, cannot have that not being able to have a whinge.

Tony Everan
49 Posted 15/06/2018 at 11:51:43
Steve (#23),

I agree that it should be only used for the black-and-white decisions, anything that is open to interpretation needs to be left alone.

Jamie Vardy wins penalties week-in and week-out by initiating contact, about 50% of them are open to interpretation of some sort. It is a minefield.

Michael Lynch
50 Posted 15/06/2018 at 12:32:08
VAR works for goal-line technology – instant and irrefutable. For everything else it just spoils the game.

Tony J Williams
51 Posted 15/06/2018 at 12:54:57
I like the idea that they show the contested decision on the big screen, but we know that would never happen.

They don't even show the replay now at Goodison of any 50/50 issues.

Still open for bent referees to buttfuck anyone outside of the "Top 6" clubs who are now getting a bigger slice of the pie.

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