Premier League clubs to vote on scrapping VAR

Premier League clubs are set to hold a vote at their annual general meeting next month ( June) on a proposal to scrap the video assistant referee (VAR) system from the start of next season.

The Premier League body releases an official statement on its website on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, after it received a letter from Wolves Football Club asking that the technology be scrapped from the beginning of next season (2024/25).

The 2023/24 season saw loads of poor officiating from the VAR officials, which has made the fans question the integrity of the competition. A resolution has now been formally submitted to the Premier League by Wolverhampton Wanderers calling for VAR to be scrapped this summer and that will trigger a vote when representatives of the 20 clubs assemble for their yearly gathering, in Harrogate on June 6, 2024.

What did Wolves say?

“After careful consideration and with the utmost respect for the Premier League, (referees body) PGMOL and our fellow competitors. There is no blame to be placed, we are all just looking for the best possible outcome for football and all stakeholders have been working hard to try and make the introduction of additional technology a success. However, after five seasons of VAR in the Premier League, it is time for a constructive and critical debate on its future. Our position is that the price we are paying for a small increase in accuracy is at odds with the spirit of our game, and as a result, we should remove it from the 2024/25 season onwards.”

What did the Premier League say?

A spokesman from the Premier League confirmed that it has received a letter from Wolves concerning the cancellation of VAR and agrees that the clubs have the right to vote for or against the technology.

“The Premier League can confirm it will facilitate a discussion on VAR with our clubs at the annual general meeting next month. Clubs are entitled to put forward proposals at shareholders’ meetings and we acknowledge the concerns and issues around the use of VAR. However, the league fully supports the use of VAR and remains committed, alongside PGMOL, to make continued improvements to the system for the benefit of the game and fans.”

There has been a lot of controversy in the league among the various stakeholders since the introduction of the technology. VAR has been used in the English top flight since 2019, helping improve decision-making but also generating persistent controversy.

What are the major poor VAR officiating this season?

Liverpool’s Luis Diaz saw a goal wrongly disallowed for offside against Tottenham Hotspur in September before Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was left furious by the decision to allow Anthony Gordon’s winning goal to stand for Newcastle United against his side in November.

What is the ratio of VAR correct calls compared to incorrect calls?

According to Sky Sports Nees, the Premier League stats earlier this season showed correct decisions had increased from 82 to 96 per cent under VAR.

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