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06th Jun 2024

Only one Premier League club voted to scrap VAR ahead of next season

Charlie Herbert

The motion was rejected by 19 votes to 1

Only one Premier League club voted in favour of scrapping VAR next season.

On Thursday, Premier League members voted against Wolves’ motion calling for the video assistant referee (VAR) to be removed from the competition.

And it turned out only Wolves voted in favour of the motion, which was rejected at the Premier League’s annual general meeting between all member clubs.

It was not expected that the clubs would choose to get rid of VAR, with 14 votes required for the motion to pass.

Despite seeing their motion overwhelmingly rejected, Wolves are said to be happy with the discussion generated and “pleased it was out in the open,” according to the Telegraph’s John Percy.

In a statement, the Premier League said: “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.”

However, the clubs have called for improvements to be made to the system, and highlighted six key areas to focus on.

These were:

  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.

As part of efforts to improve transparency, in-game VAR announcements are expected to be trialled in the Premier League next season, the BBC reports.

This will see match referees confirmed decisions to the stadium after they have been made. Fans will still not hear in-game discussions from officials during the decision-making progress though.

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