Premier League tries to convince clubs to keep VAR

The Premier League has made an effort to convince clubs to keep the VAR system ahead of the vote on whether or not to abolish it, including presenting an improvement plan.

Premier League tries to convince clubs to keep VAR Embed from Getty Images

Wolverhampton Wanderers submitted a resolution in May, resulting in a vote on Thursday at the annual meeting in Harrogate on whether to abolish VAR in the Premier League. Two-thirds of the clubs must agree to pass Wolverhampton's proposal, which means fourteen out of the twenty Premier League clubs.

The Premier League leadership is in favor of VAR. They claim that abolishing VAR will result in "a hundred additional incorrect decisions." In an effort to push clubs towards rejecting Wolves' proposal, the Premier League sent a "VAR improvement plan" to the clubs on Wednesday. This plan is in the hands of several English media outlets.

The plan includes a chapter on the consequences of potentially abolishing VAR. It acknowledges that there will be less interruption during matches but also states that "significantly more errors will be made." According to the Premier League, there were five incorrect VAR interventions last season compared to 105 correct ones. The season before, there were 11 incorrect interventions compared to 105 correct ones. The average delay per match due to VAR was 63 seconds last season.

In addition to the statistical analysis, the Premier League argues that abolishing VAR is "potentially damaging" to the league's image, as it would be seen as a step back from embracing modern technology in football. They also suggest that without VAR, English referees might receive fewer opportunities to officiate in top European competitions, where VAR is widely used and considered essential.

Furthermore, the improvement plan outlines several enhancements aimed at addressing current criticisms of the VAR system. These improvements include better training for VAR officials, clearer communication protocols to ensure transparency during decisions, and technological upgrades to reduce the time taken for reviews. The plan emphasizes that these changes will make VAR more efficient and less intrusive, thereby addressing the concerns raised by those in favor of its abolition.

The vote on whether to keep or abolish VAR in the Premier League will take place on Thursday. The outcome will significantly influence the future of match officiating in English football.

Updated: 11:31, 6 Jun 2024

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