15/05/2024 56comments  |  Jump to last

Wolverhampton Wanderers have formally put forward a proposal to end Video Assistant Refereeing starting next season.

The resolution will be on the agenda at the Premier League's next annual general meeting on 6 June.

As with any change to the rules or structure of the League, the vote would need at least 13 other member clubs to join Wolves if VAR is to be scrapped.

The Black Country club feel they have been disproportionately affected by poor decisions from officials this season following VAR review and would prefer to get rid of the system.

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Originally brought with the intention of eradicating key mistakes by the on-pitch referees affecting the outcome of matches, VAR has become a lightning rod for criticism and a bugbear for supporters who feel that it is killing the spontaneity of the game. 


Reader Comments (56)

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Brian Williams
1 Posted 15/05/2024 at 18:30:26
Let's hope they get the required votes!
John Raftery
2 Posted 15/05/2024 at 18:32:20
Surprised it has taken so long. I sincerely hope our club votes to scrap it.
Tony Abrahams
3 Posted 15/05/2024 at 18:41:12
Very Interesting. Hopefully it is scrapped but, either way, it still leaves us with a game full of cheats and some very poor officials who lack genuine consistency.
John Keating
4 Posted 15/05/2024 at 18:51:02
VAR is a fiasco which is ruining the spontaneity and matchgoing experience of the game. A total farce and an idea from people who are not interested in spectators.

Please let Wolves get the full support they need.

Pete Neilson
5 Posted 15/05/2024 at 18:53:35
I hate it. Bin it. Subjective so pointless.

No redeeming features, particularly for anyone at the game.

Paul Birmingham
6 Posted 15/05/2024 at 18:56:02
I hope it's scrapped, it's killed the game, as good as.

But I have no faith in the regime in charge of the Premier League, and with no governance, who knows when their next book of stunts will emerge?

Feck them. UTFTs!

Jay Harris
7 Posted 15/05/2024 at 19:23:33
End this tiresome and time-consuming nonsense and the requirement for the linesman not to give offside immediately and I can live with the poor decisions and TV recrimination afterwards.
John Keating
8 Posted 15/05/2024 at 19:25:20
The Premier League have consistently said – and lied – that they will listen to the fans, give the fans more input to the game and their clubs. The Govt. have also said they want more fan input.

If this is true, then let each Club ballot their season ticket holders and, depending on the outcome, each Club should vote accordingly.

Unfortunately as we have cameras all over the place at the grounds, those watching on TV get to see all the millimetre offside decisions etc. Those in the ground only see the ball hitting the net.

I'm a Luddite. I'd go back to the old days. Put one camera on the halfway line, let the ref and linesmen make the decision immediately onfield, and let us all argue about it in the pub after the game.

Stu Darlington
9 Posted 15/05/2024 at 19:40:26
VAR should be binned. It's not fit for purpose and has failed to fulfil its primary objective which was to eradicate key mistakes by the on-pitch referee.

Agreed, the standard of refereeing this season seems to have fallen even further, so maybe the money saved on VAR could be ploughed into the recruitment, training and monitoring of top-flight referees.

They are all going to make mistakes, I accept that, but it's the inconsistency that kills me. If we could eradicate that from the game, I'm sure it would remove much of the frustration that supporters feel.

Raymond Fox
10 Posted 15/05/2024 at 19:42:06
Well, let's put it this way, if you think decision-making with VAR is poor, how bad will the decisions be relying just on the ref and linesmen?

Wait till games are lost because the linesman misses glaring offsides or the ref misses blatant handballs in the box which costs teams games.

There will be some right moaning then.

Billy Bradshaw
11 Posted 15/05/2024 at 19:42:28
Thank god, let's get back to celebrating a goal properly, not waiting while the ref hangs on to his ear and then starts making TV screen signs.
Tony Abrahams
12 Posted 15/05/2024 at 19:44:20
If the clubs are in tune with their match going supporters, then I can only really see one outcome.

Soren Moyer
13 Posted 15/05/2024 at 19:54:27
Not going to happen. VAR is here to stay.
Ray Roche
14 Posted 15/05/2024 at 20:44:46
If VAR is binned, referees will have nothing to hide behind, they will have to take responsibility for their own actions and not just wait with one finger on their ear while someone hundreds of miles away mops up his mistakes.

So, we have someone dropping a bollock in real time, or someone dropping a bollock in Stockley Park but taking five minutes to do it. Your choice.

Paul Smith
15 Posted 15/05/2024 at 20:59:52
I like it. The blatant shite decisions that happened before have been forgotten about.

Refs are fucking useless — have you forgotten, guys?

Ray Roche
16 Posted 15/05/2024 at 21:47:12
Paul, on the pitch or Stockley Park, they're useless whichever place you find them!!
Brian Cleveland
17 Posted 15/05/2024 at 22:03:37
Never thought I'd hear myself say I'm a Wolves supporter, absolutely varsical!

Get rid, completely ruined enjoyment of the game. Hate VAR with a passion. Never wanted it, still don't.

Stephen Williams
18 Posted 15/05/2024 at 22:51:16
Whilst I hate VAR, there are reasons:

- takes too long,
- officials aren't making decisions, instead waiting for VAR to do it for them,
- inexplicably still getting it wrong.

Sort that out and we're nearly there.

Looking at the alternative:

- the refs were awful before, will they be any better without VAR?
- are we confident that the refs won't just favour the ‘big' teams and be corrupt against the majority?

On balance, get better and I'll accept it. Otherwise, get rid.

Craig Harrison
19 Posted 15/05/2024 at 23:50:28
Some ideas that may improve VAR:

1) No current refs are allowed to be VARs. There seems to be some concern that if you make someone on the field look stupid one week, it may be you next.

2) 5 people on VAR for each game. All sitting in separate rooms with no communication. Requires a 4 out of 5 “vote” to overturn a result. Maximum 45 seconds from first replay to make a decision.

3) Automated offside or at the very least have enough cameras to avoid badly drawn lines.

Just some ideas…

Jack Convery
20 Posted 16/05/2024 at 01:07:03
Down with this sort of thing. It's ruining the joy of celebrating goals, which is why we go to watch football.

Spontaneity is what football is all about. Not hanging around wondering wtf is going on in a van somewhere miles away.

Well done, Wolves, I say. They weren't offside when they suggested it were they?

Jamie Sweet
21 Posted 16/05/2024 at 01:36:36
I would love to see it scrapped. It's ruined the whole experience of seeing your team score a goal which is the best part of the game. It has muted celebrations and wastes so much time waiting for things to get forensically checked.

If VAR was able to provide 100% correct decisions, delivered in a matter of seconds, then it would be okay. But waiting 5 minutes to check if the striker's big toe was in a more advanced position than the defenders shoulder, to the nearest micro millimeter, is just killing the game for me.

I can excuse errors by linesmen and referees made in real-time. Yes, it's annoying, but not more annoying than VAR holding up the game for ages, only to go and shaft you with a dodgy decision anyway!

Must admit I did enjoy that one time they completely screwed it up for Liverpool against Spurs though. That was the one time I fleetingly thought that it could be a good thing.

Christine Foster
22 Posted 16/05/2024 at 02:53:21
Nothing wrong with VAR... it's still the interpretation of the law by officials that is the problem.

Clear up the offside rule. There needs to be clear daylight between the last defender and attacker to be offside.

Hand ball rule changed back to intentional / not ball to hand.

Linesman put up their flags for offside, it can then be assessed by VAR at the end of that play, not an immediate stop of game.

The debated decisions must be made at pitchside by the game referee not another set of officials elsewhere.

That should clear up 90% of the crap.

Darryl Ritchie
23 Posted 16/05/2024 at 02:53:44
Keep the goal line check to confirm goal or no goal… get rid of the rest.

The on-field officials must be in charge of the match, right decision or wrong decision.

Ed Prytherch
24 Posted 16/05/2024 at 03:54:33
Unless it is an Everton game, I prefer to watch Championship games that are free of this VAR crap.

The lower league officials get it right as often as the Premier League officials and they do it in a fraction of the time.

Danny O’Neill
25 Posted 16/05/2024 at 03:57:49
I'm probably going against the grain, but I'll stay consistent with my view and go with Christine.

VAR isn't the problem, it should be the solution to all of those wrongs of the past. And much as we've been on the wrong end, we've got away with a few over the years.

I think Wolves raise a valid point, but it should be aimed at the implementation and more importantly, the competency of the officials. For me, the latter is the real issue. Taking 5 minutes to make a decision on an offside decision? We could decide from our homes on Sky almost instantly.

Don't start me on the current offside rule when it seems a player's sleeve warrants being offside. That rule needs reviewing.

It should be audible and accountable showing it on the screen. I keep saying, like in Rugby, the fans can see and hear the decision-making process. I don't go to Rugby very much but the last time I went to Twickenham you could download an App and listen to the officials throughout the match.

They've over-complicated it and messed it up. It needs re-setting.

Ernie Baywood
26 Posted 16/05/2024 at 05:01:39
This implementation needs to be scrapped. It doesn't work.

Then they can consider how to actually help referees to reach more correct and timely decisions.

Those bolded elements should have been at the centre of the implementation, and they weren't.

Currently VAR isn't there to reach the right decision. That's just plain ridiculous.

Eric Myles
27 Posted 16/05/2024 at 06:20:42
Paul #15,

But it's those same fucking useless refs that are in charge of VAR which is why it's also fucking useless.

Alan J Thompson
28 Posted 16/05/2024 at 06:23:44
If you can't improve the performance of on-field officials why expect those off-field to be any better. If VAR is to be done away with then why not 4 linesmen but I think it will take both a wholesale review of the rules and why officials, new or experienced, continue to be so poor before there is any improvement.

I'd like to see the corner flag quadrant doubled in size and if a corner is taken then the ball must be completely within, on the line or outside becomes a goal kick. If there were 4 linesmen (persons, assistants, whatever) then the linesman nearest stands where the ball went out for a throw in and anything taken passed that is a foul throw. And anyone putting a hand on an opposition player while waiting for a corner to be taken is either an indirect free kick (just for fun) or a penalty whether the corner has been taken or not. Offside and the like were better, not perfect, before the rule changes.

The problem is that whether this motion is passed or not it still has to be dealt with, put into place by the totally incapable Premier League Executive and then possibly FIFA. Anyone remember the not too distant rule that if players didn't withdraw the correct distance at free kicks then it was to be moved forward but this was abandoned with the excuse that some referees didn't know how far to advance the kick. If only we could find more uses for that shaving cream.

Brian Williams
29 Posted 16/05/2024 at 07:22:07
Anthony Gordon spoke very well after last night's game with regard to VAR. Made good sense and made good valid points.
Kevin Edward
30 Posted 16/05/2024 at 08:18:01
Well done Wolves, VAR deserves to be under scrutiny.
I doubt that many clubs will vote against it, most likely it's here to stay.

Clearly the people running it are incompetent and there needs to be a change in how and when it is utilised, and scrapped completely for FA cup games.

The only ‘clear and obvious' observation is that it's been used to bully referees into changing their on pitch decisions, look for minor incidents that no one with eyes can see, and to install a lunatic opinion that a players nose being offside is gaining an advantage.

The top teams (the Shitty Six) will always have the officials in their pocket, but some of the stuff seen this season has been ridiculous and hard to believe (poor Coventry).

It's either 1) an aid to assist the on field official or 2) a tool to influence results. At the moment it looks more like 2) so must change.

Liam Mogan
31 Posted 16/05/2024 at 08:23:58
VAR is all about making the Premier League 'product' more entertaining for the global masses watching on TV. It's designed to add jeopardy and drum up fake controversy.

For matchgoers it is appalling and has ruined the visceral thrill of scoring a goal. Unfortunately our opinions have limited weight.

Michael Kenrick
32 Posted 16/05/2024 at 08:33:37
Brian @29,

That incident where Gordon appeared to go down very easily under the close attention of Amrabat was a classic example of how fucking useless VAR has become.

You could really only see it in the replays but Amrabat's boot definitely caught Gordon's ankle and that should be a stonewall penalty. But no… Insufficient contact? And the referee wasn't even invited to review it himself.

At least Rooney called it right.

Liam @31,

Yours may be a very widely-held perspective but I can't agree that "VAR is all about making the Premier League 'product' more entertaining for the global masses watching on TV."

It has exactly the same effect on TV as it does at the game in that it has totally ruined the goal-scoring moment.

Let's not lose sight of the fact that its intent was to improve the accuracy of decision-making by the match officials; it was not "designed to add jeopardy and drum up fake controversy." However, I can't argue that it's terrible implementation in the Premier League at least gives that impression.

I'm not sure what the solution is but, if they can (semi-)automate the horrible offside law, why can't they feed an AI routine with the Laws of the Game and have it analyse the video to give an almost instant verdict — and explanation?

Yes, I can see that going down well…

Brian Williams
33 Posted 16/05/2024 at 08:41:45
Michael #32,

The "clip" or whatever things are called on X, that somebody sent to me, even showed the hole in the back of Gordon's sock.

The only thing that can cause that, realistically, is a stud so that certainly made it even clearer he'd been caught.

We see it week in week out, a straightforward foul, but even the commentators now stupidly say things like "well he DID have hold of him there but maybe not for long enough."


John Williams
34 Posted 16/05/2024 at 09:04:48
The incident when Gordon went down was clearly a penalty, but you have to say, that is not VARs fault, it's the referees managing it.

When they changed the rules in Rugby League and checking when a try takes place or another incident on the field, it's worked and made the game more entertaining and easier to watch.

Maybe the authorities thought VAR would do the same to football? Sadly it hasn't, especially the tight offside calls, some brilliant goals chalked off because of a toe.

Rob Halligan
35 Posted 16/05/2024 at 09:13:22
The RS are one of the clubs who want VAR to remain. Now I wonder why that is?? 🤔🤔🤔
Christopher Timmins
36 Posted 16/05/2024 at 09:15:07
Improve it or bin it.
Ray Roche
37 Posted 16/05/2024 at 09:19:26
Brian @33,

The hole in the back of the sock is cut there by the player, it's a fashion now that lots of players are doing, ‘ I've got such big muscles that my socks don't fit'!

You'll notice loads of them now!

Danny O’Neill
38 Posted 16/05/2024 at 09:21:16
I will have a guess, Rob.

Because of the St Virgil of Anfield collision when Pickford nearly put him in the Gwladys Street?!!!

Steve Brown
39 Posted 16/05/2024 at 09:35:42
Keep goal-line technology and VAR for offside and off the ball foul play.

Leave the rest to the referee and linesmen.

Brian Harrison
40 Posted 16/05/2024 at 09:51:21

I remember an interview quite a number of years ago with the late great Brian Clough, and he said you people meaning the TV people were undermining referees decisions. I have been in your studios were you play an incident 20 or 30 times trying to find fault with a decision and when I looked at it despite only having seconds to make up his mind the refs decision was often the right one. I never ever heard Clough blaming a poor referees decision as to why his team lost, and his team will have got poor decisions against them. Managers these days always looking to blame anybody for their teams loss always go on about a poor refereeing decision as the reason. No wonder grass roots football are struggling to get young lads interested in taking up refereeing with the abuse they get.

Poor decisions are made in rugby and cricket despite their various forms of VAR but once the decision is made the players accept it and get on with the game, and I have never heard the coach at the end of the game ever questioning the refs decisions as they do in football. I don't think they will scrap VAR but it might help if in like the other sports we can see and hear what VAR and the ref are looking at.

Roger Helm
41 Posted 16/05/2024 at 10:12:20
I said from the start that VAR wouldn’t work in football because the decisions are so subjective - was the contact sufficient to knock the player down or was he milking it? Was the offside player interfering with play? Was the arm in an “un-natural” position when the ball hit it? Was the player “in control of his body” when he went into the tackle?

It works in other sports because it is objective, checking if the tennis ball hit the line or the rugby ball was grounded correctly, etc. The only place for it in my opinion is to decide offside when a goal is scored, and that should be clearly offside, not a matter of millimetres, which I don’t think lines drawn on computers are accurate enough to judge anyway. The benefit of any doubt should always be in favour of calling no foul.

Rob Halligan
42 Posted 16/05/2024 at 10:20:20
Ray # 37…………the hole in Gordon’s sock was not put there by the player himself, but as Brian says, it was caused by a stud raked down his Achilles, right where the hole is. The sock is all frayed and there are large red marks right down his Achilles.
Rob Halligan
43 Posted 16/05/2024 at 10:25:18
Hopefully you can see the hole in his sock here………..


John Williams
44 Posted 16/05/2024 at 11:31:15
You can go back to the Shankly days and Emlyn Hughes. If Liverpool ever conceded a goal the players' hands would go in the air claiming offside.

This is telling the ref and linesman, you have made a mistake and also telling their supporters they have lost a goal by a bad decision. Sportsmanship?

These days, players taking corners will soon be by the penalty area… What is the quadrant for? And who changed the rules?

Brian Williams
45 Posted 16/05/2024 at 11:33:53

This wasn't one of the cuts you refer to. I know what you mean but this wasn't one of those mate.

Cheers Rob. 👍

Si Cooper
46 Posted 16/05/2024 at 12:57:49
Darryl (23), the goal line technology isn't VAR.

The first step to improving VAR must be to make the various conversations public / live so everyone can see how the decisions are being made.

Brian Cleveland
47 Posted 16/05/2024 at 13:05:21
Michael (32),

My immediate reaction when you mentioned AI was, "oh that might be interesting", but then I remembered that AI is only as good as the data it is fed to train it and given the ludicrous contradictory decisions made by refs it would soon get its knickers in a twist and likely be no better...

Ray Roche
48 Posted 16/05/2024 at 16:08:57
Brian, Rob, thanks for the clarification lads, I hadn’t seen the tackle properly and I hadn’t seen the photo of Gordon’s Achilles, I can see what you mean Brian.👍🏻
Mike Hayes
50 Posted 16/05/2024 at 19:20:15
According to Sky, Wolves will fail in their bid to get VAR scrapped.

They should ask the fans what they think. For me, it's ruining the game worse than refs ever could.

John Raftery
51 Posted 16/05/2024 at 22:38:21
Naturally Sky wants to keep VAR in its current guise because it creates controversy, discussion points and fodder for a TV audience and sponsors. The owners of the big clubs want to keep it because they imagine, with some justification, it reduces the jeopardy for their teams especially when they are playing ‘little’ teams.

As others have pointed out it was never a solution for matters of judgment which should be left to the referees on the pitch seeing the action in real time. The PGMOL has had five years to sort it out. How long do they want? It has got worse.

The EFL rejected its use in their leagues. Mistakes are made by their officials, as they always have been and always will be, but EFL clubs and their supporters are happy to live with that rather than destroy the spontaneity of games.

Automated technology to give immediate, accurate offside decisions would be fine but the idea of VAR on matters of judgment is an abomination. It is time the governing bodies, clubs, media and all their pundits listened to match going fans.

Tom Bowers
52 Posted 16/05/2024 at 22:49:32
Referees and linespeople are only human. They make mistakes.

VAR was supposed to correct those mistakes but it's been a failure because, with all the technology and expense, the VAR officials still refer it back to the on-field officials far too often.

What's the point of having it?

The delayed offside flag is also a farce. Call it immediately –not 30 seconds later.

What about doing something about all the pushing, shoving, clutching and grabbing when corners are about to be taken?

Why doesn't the official wait for the kick and then call the penalty which more often than not, it is.

The game needs to be cleaned up. It's never been this bad.

Brent Stephens
53 Posted 16/05/2024 at 23:05:35
Does Sky have access to the technology used by the VAR to judge offside decisions, for example?

If so, the controversies might just continue (be stimulated) with the televising of the application of the technology – the virtual lines drawn across the pitch etc.

Derek Thomas
54 Posted 16/05/2024 at 23:40:20
They've had a good run for a trial and they've 'fine tuned' it 3 or 4 times – and made it worse each time.

They can't fix it, so fuck it off.

Ernie Baywood
55 Posted 16/05/2024 at 23:49:49
They'll make mistakes. And we won't agree with every decision they make.

But hopefully we can get rid of the mistakes they introduced. The most obvious example is the Liverpool v Spurs one where they knew the answer but decided that they were bound by process.

That was a very public calamity but there are lower profile versions of that every week where they know what the answer should be and don't act because they're applying VAR guidelines rather than the rules of the game.

We've seen them for and against us constantly. They're getting more wrong than they used to. And they're getting those decisions wrong for all the wrong reasons, ie, it's not just human error.

Peter Hodgson
56 Posted 20/05/2024 at 19:57:55
VAR like so much the Premier League is involved in it doesn't work. Full Stop.

Therefore, as we are not turkeys and don't vote for Christmas, we should reject VAR until they can prove to an independent adjudicator that they have fixed it and it works properly. That also goes for the officials in their cubby hole who need to know how it should work and make non-biased decisions. That will keep them busy for a while won't it.

The independent advisors should be just around the corner by then. Job done. Oh, and by the way they need to do something with Oliver while they are at it. He used be a good referee - not any more (not concentrating on his job) - too busy sucking up to Masters & Co methinks.

Geoff Gordon
57 Posted 22/05/2024 at 20:04:12
Why not let each team have 1 VAR appeal per match.

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