06/06/2024 29comments  |  Jump to last

At the Premier League AGM on 6 June, Premier League clubs voted in favour of continuing with VAR which has been in use in the English top flight since August 2019.

Sky Sports News has been told that Wolves were the only club to vote for VAR to be scrapped.

Wolves were understood to be adamant, even the day before the Premier League's AGM in Harrogate on Thursday, that they wanted a vote to take place, even though they anticipated a heavy defeat.

All the other 19 clubs voted for it to continue, with certain criteria for improvement.

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A statement released by the Premier League confirmed that several improvements will be made to the technology to benefit both the game and its supporters:

Premier League clubs today voted in favour of continuing to operate VAR in the Premier League. While VAR produces more accurate decision-making, it was agreed that improvements should be made for the benefit of the game and supporters.

As part of thorough discussions at the Annual General Meeting, it was agreed that PGMOL, the Premier League and clubs all have important roles to play in improving the system and its reputation. As part of ongoing work to improve VAR, six key areas were focussed on as part of discussions with clubs:

  1. Maintaining a high threshold for VAR intervention to deliver greater consistency and less interruptions to the flow of the game.

  2. Reducing delays to the game, primarily through the introduction of semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) and the maintained high threshold for VAR intervention.

  3. Improving fan experience through a reduction in the delays, in-stadium announcements from referees after a post-VAR change of decision and where possible, an enhanced offering of big screen replays to include all VAR interventions.

  4. Working with PGMOL on the implementation of more robust VAR training to improve consistency, including an emphasis on speed of process while preserving accuracy.

  5. Increasing transparency and communication around VAR – including expanded communications from Premier League Match Centre and through broadcast programming such as Match Officials Mic’d Up.

  6. The delivery of a fan and stakeholder VAR communication campaign, which will seek to further clarify VAR’s role in the game to participants and supporters.

It was confirmed in April that Semi-Automated Offside Technology will be introduced in the autumn of 2024. The technology will provide quicker and consistent placement of the virtual offside line, based on optical player tracking, and will produce high-quality broadcast graphics to ensure an enhanced in-stadium and broadcast experience for supporters.

The Premier League and PGMOL will continue to lobby IFAB to allow greater flexibility in the Laws of the Game to allow live video and audio broadcast during VAR reviews.

The Premier League clubs also agreed to trial new financial rules next season imposing a squad cost-ratio (SCR) and providing top-to-bottom anchoring (TBA). These will not replace the problematic Profitaboility & Sustainability Rules (PSR) that Everton and others have breached, resulting in points deductions. 

SCR: This limits a club’s spending on player wages and transfer fees to 85% of its revenue and the net profit or loss from its transfer dealings. 

TBA: This is effectively a hard salary limit, which means every club's wage bill is set at five times the amount of the lowest club's media and sponsorship income.

The Premier League claims “[The trials] will enable the League and clubs to fully evaluate the system, including the operation of UEFA’s equivalent new financial regulations, and to complete its consultation with all relevant stakeholders. The overall system aims to improve and preserve clubs’ financial sustainability and the competitive balance of the Premier League, promote aspiration of clubs, facilitate a workable alignment with other relevant competitions and support clubs’ competitiveness in UEFA club competitions, while providing certainty and clarity for clubs, fans and stakeholders.”


Reader Comments (29)

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Trevor Bailey
1 Posted 06/06/2024 at 14:10:37
Premier League clubs voted 19 to 1 to keep the bloody VAR.
Tony Abrahams
2 Posted 06/06/2024 at 14:19:06
It's not really about the fans anymore, Trevor, because I'm sure that vote would have been 20 - 0 in favour of abolishing VAR, especially in its current silent and gutless guise.

Dermot Gallagher will obviously be rubbing his hands, because this will keep the man in a job, and help keep these referees from explaining their subjective decisions, which seem to change weekly.

Michael Kenrick
3 Posted 06/06/2024 at 15:06:24
The Tyranny of The Majority.
Mike Hayes
4 Posted 06/06/2024 at 15:09:14
Load of shite idiots voting for this it’ll be abused all the more now and you don’t need a crystal ball to see who’ll it’ll favour🤷😡😡
Michael Kenrick
6 Posted 06/06/2024 at 15:17:45
I can't recall that our FAB stepped up to try and influence the club's decision on this vote, but the fact that all 20 clubs now have similar FABs, and presumably the vast majority of fans it seems hate VAR, then it just goes to show the value of this fan-led initiative to take more account of their concerns and exactly what it is delivering for football.
Jay Harris
8 Posted 06/06/2024 at 15:21:44
The sooner we get an independent regulator that represents the fans' views, the better.

This band of backslapping support of each other and the vast corruptive amounts of money involved means fair play and fan enjoyment plays a secondary role.

Dennis Stevens
9 Posted 06/06/2024 at 15:32:58
I'd like to see a time limit imposed on VAR. If it's not so clear & obvious as to be determined quickly then the ref's original decision should stand. Although, I'd really rather get rid & just implement goal line technology.

Btw, Jay, I hope that your expectations of any independent regulator representing the fans views are not dashed by whatever form such a regulator may take – if, indeed, we get one in the end.

Andy Duff
12 Posted 06/06/2024 at 15:58:04
The Turkeys voted for Christmas again. It's about time clubs listened to their fans.

That said, it's not VAR that's the issue – it is the clowns they have using it.

They need more transparency on the ground, live audio and video clips played so you can hear and see what's going on. That way they can't hide behind dodgy decisions.

I wonder if they are scared it might cause a riot — especially if fans can see they are wrong?

John Hall
14 Posted 06/06/2024 at 16:09:12
Dennis @9. Love the idea you proposed.

Each ground to have a 30 second VAR decision clock and we could all count down from 30 to 0.

Would break the silence and boredom waiting for the mainly useless VAR officials to over-rule the useless referees and bring back a little excitement.

40 thousand counting down all together would be hilarious and would show up the useless and corrupt officials who now depend on VAR to auto-correct themselves.

Colin Glassar
15 Posted 06/06/2024 at 16:15:25
Headline should be: Premier league votes in favour of collective suicide.

I’ll provide the Kool-aid

David West
16 Posted 06/06/2024 at 16:39:57
Ah yes, it's okay if the majority are voting with you, eh?
If they are voting against you get the Lawyers in!!

Wolves getting ready to bring a case against the Premier League?

Niall McIlhone
17 Posted 06/06/2024 at 16:44:44
It seems Wolves we're “flying a kite” with their resolution, and did not expect to have any majority of support, but what the action has brought is greater pressure to improve how VAR is used, and how decisions are communicated.

I expect the club delegates, Premier League big wigs and PGMOL all had a jolly at Betty's Tea Rooms after the vote.

Barry Rathbone
18 Posted 06/06/2024 at 17:08:07
VAR is marvellous — it just needs tweaking.
Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 06/06/2024 at 17:11:52
Tweaking? I'd sooner just blow Stockley Park up, if I'm being honest, Barry.
Mike Gaynes
20 Posted 06/06/2024 at 19:13:45
It was never, ever going to happen. No video review system has ever been scrapped once deployed. Not in any sport in any country.

The simple, inescapable fact is that VAR, like MLB Review and NFL Instant Replay and Hawkeye in tennis and TMO in rugby, reduces and corrects missed calls. Studies in every sport have proven video review's impact.

There is simply too much money at stake -- TV, commercial, sponsorship and especially betting -- to ever go back to the results-changing mistakes of all-human officiating.

VAR sucks because it's so badly executed. The bureaucratic rules and inherent bias in its use sometimes make it impossible for referees to use it properly. The powers that be will try to make it better. They will never vote it out.

Paul Smith
21 Posted 06/06/2024 at 19:22:42
Thank fuck! VAR stays.

I like it.

Danny O’Neill
22 Posted 07/06/2024 at 07:23:52
As I always say, VAR isn't the issue.

Football has messed it up. I'll give them teething problems, but come on. Learn the lessons and refine it.

The main issue for me is the standard of officials. Make them audible, accountable in their decision making. And get them out of Stockley Park and into the stadiums around the country. The Premier League can afford it.

And the rules. The current offside rule is ridiculous. Bootlaces and a stray finger. Honestly.

Rob Dolby
23 Posted 07/06/2024 at 08:15:14
It is all about the TV money again.
Very disappointed in our club.

Most clubs where on the wrong end of VAR last season, Wolves more than others. There is no way of improving it, the same refs are running and ruining it.

Once again, the fans sold out by their own clubs. We can't even celebrate a goal anymore in our own ground and have no idea what is going on with VAR.

Expect the same shit sandwich next season. At least Wolves tabled the motion, all the other sheep just followed the cash.

Derek Thomas
24 Posted 07/06/2024 at 08:16:09
I agree Danny, VAR 'in principle' is fair enough and it works OK-ish in Cricket and Tennis, but here with Australia RL it's a total dogs breakfast.

The trouble is, same as the Premier League, they have developed a severe case of

'Tinkerman-itis' in a mistaken effort to chase audiences and make the game 'more popular' aka, Mo' money, Mo' money, Mo' 'kin Money.

So they 'fine tune' the rules...sometimes half way through the season...and both seem to send their Reffs out with a predetermined set of 'Rules of Engagement' which bear only a vague similarity to the actual letter...and more importantly...the spirit of the FIFA rules.

Which state, amongst other things that - The Referee shall control the game with help from the assistants

Not the other way fuckin round !

John Raftery
25 Posted 07/06/2024 at 12:06:09
Michael (6) Spot on.

The fans don't count at clubs until they want our money.

Tom Bowers
26 Posted 07/06/2024 at 12:20:03
The game was full of controversy before VAR and still is now because of some idiots running the show. If they don't change how it is handled, the arguments will still rage next season.

Once the on-field incident goes to the VAR, that's where the decision must be made. The farce of going back to the referee and him running to the touchline screen must end.

It's plain and simple!!

Ted Roberts
27 Posted 07/06/2024 at 14:15:17
I totally agree, Tom #26.

One of the most annoying failures in the use of VAR is this totally embarrassing spectacle of the VAR officials being called upon to make a decision and then, with the use of all the technical tools at their disposal, are unable, or don't have the balls, to make the decision, pass it back to the ref for him to call it.

The fault that this highlights is the much spoken about aspect “Clear and Obvious” — it can't be that clear and obvious if it takes half-an-hour to resolve. And no matter where they draw that bloody line to prove offside, it never looks clear and obvious.

I wish they'd piss off with this assistant referee putting his flag up after the goal's been scored, or some poor bleeding forward has had his legs scythed from under him.

This topic winds me up but, if it's going to stay, put the bloody game first, not some dithering techno geek as adjudicator. Just give us one simple answer to all the calls that have to be made: “Is it or isn't it?” Simple!!!

Si Cooper
28 Posted 08/06/2024 at 01:38:07
The article says they are looking to improve the speed of coming to a decision and making the actual decision-making more transparent.

If they can do those to a significant degree, then I don't have a problem with keeping it (for now).

I'd like them to sort out the handball and offside decisions but I don't think those are particularly a problem with VAR itself and improving the transparency on the discussions and decision-making may be enough to prevent truly inexplicable decisions.

Simon Dalzell
29 Posted 08/06/2024 at 02:49:14
Shame on Wolves for Instigating this vote, and also the Premier League for going ahead with it.

There is no going back on VAR now. It has been used (abused) in a very amateurish way.

Brian Williams
30 Posted 08/06/2024 at 03:47:19
I think you'll find the Premier League have no choice in the matter but to go ahead with it due to its rules.

Why "shame" on Wolves though?

Kieran Kinsella
31 Posted 08/06/2024 at 04:27:39

I imagine Wolves were well aware it would be voted down but what they have accomplished is forcing the authorities to take steps to improve it which — if it happens — is a positive.

Danny O’Neill
32 Posted 08/06/2024 at 06:25:57
I'll just keep saying it. Sort the standard of officials out, make them audible and accountable for explaining their decisions. Both at the time and in post-match interviews.

And review the rules, especially how offside is interpreted. Clear daylight is my preference. Handball is a bit trickier.

VAR would have given the Hamilton goal that Clive Thomas ruled out for alleged handball. And we would have got a penalty in the 84 League Cup Final when Hansen patted the ball with his left hand.

VAR isn't the enemy. It's the officials. We have just transferred the problem rather than really addressing the root cause.

Dave Ganley
33 Posted 09/06/2024 at 11:36:42
But would VAR have given the Hamilton goal and Hansen's handball though?

They managed to not give Rodri's basketball impression against us and also deemed Robinson's "save" against Fulham on the line last season as hands being in anatural position.

They say that VAR gets all these decisions right but it's just their interpretation of right. No way in hell should the Rodri and Robinson incidents not have resulted in penalties.

Shane Corcoran
34 Posted 09/06/2024 at 12:00:51
Ted, wasn't it the Bayern goal in the Champions League semi-final where the linesman did flag and it later looked like the goal should've stood?

Playing on makes complete sense. All this talk of “someone's going to get injured”; I don't get it. You play to the whistle. You could get injured at any time.

VAR is here to stay and I think it's a good thing. I do think it can improve but I've looked at replays of incidents over the years where I still can't decide definitively what I think the outcome should be. Some incidents are simply debatable.

But surely VAR was brought in to help improve the number of correct decisions, and not to attain perfection.

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