Premier League clubs vote against scrapping VAR as Wolves left standing alone

-Credit: (Image: PA)
-Credit: (Image: PA)

Premier League clubs have unanimously voted to retain the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology, but with a commitment to enhance its application.

The decision was made during Thurday's meeting where the 20 top-flight teams agreed to concentrate on six main areas for improvement. These include increasing the threshold for intervention and minimising game disruptions. Wolverhampton Wanderers had spearheaded a proposal to abolish VAR after five seasons in the Premier League, arguing that it was time for 'a constructive and critical debate' on the system's future. They highlighted nine ways in which they believe VAR has negatively impacted the league.

Despite their efforts, the motion seemed doomed from the start, particularly at the Annual General Meeting held in Harrogate. In a statement, the Premier League confirmed: "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," reports the Mirror.

The statement further detailed: "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.

"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."