Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Arsenal vote to retain VAR as Wolves motion fails

Arsenal joined 18 other Premier League clubs in voting to retain VAR after Wolves had triggered a vote on the use of technology after a season of grievances.

While all clubs agreed on the need for improvements, the Molineux outfit were the only club to back their own proposal, therefore falling 13 votes short of the number needed to bring about change.

VAR was introduced in the Premier League at the start of the 2019/20 season and has, to put it kindly, been a work in progress.

Even though manager Mikel Arteta has expressed frustration with VAR decisions – most notably following last season’s defeat at Newcastle – his problem was not so much with the technology but its application.

When he spoke on the subject in May, he was non-committal about how the club would vote but sounded surprised that things had reached the point of a vote being necessary.

“I want to have a meeting with the club next week and understand where these points are coming across, what happened in the last few weeks to get to this position, and then we will decide what our position is as a club and see what happens,” he said.

In a statement released this afternoon, the Premier League said six key areas relating to the use of VAR will be the subject of continued discussion.

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 also confirmed that semi-automated offside technology will be introduced in the autumn of 2024, presumably after the season has already started.

In a recent poll by The Athletic, only 40% of Arsenal fans backed scrapping VAR. Only Aston Villa (38%) and Manchester City (37%) were less bothered while supporters of Bournemouth, Luton and Wolves were at the other end of the scale backing a rollback by between 80-90%.

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Pgmol and their incompetent use of var have cost us the title 2 years running.


And Manchester City freely cheating their way into the record books.


The ‘Tyranny of the Minority’ FC will continue to do so unless concrete effective actions are taken to stop them from doing so.


That is exactly why I felt “why bother” at the end of the season, everything since just reiterates it. The FA made their bed when they first invited in a Russian-state backed Billionaire who wanted to play real life Football Manager, and then they pissed all over their own sheets by allowing in a tyrannical oil state to take that to the next level. The FA is just as much if not more the blame than even City themselves. I mean the Dubai business model was there for the world to see before they bought the sky blue minnows…


How exactly? I get last season to some extent because of the lines not being drawn (though i dont think thats all the points we were missing for the title last season), but what points did we lose this season because of VAR? We had a few generous decisions given to us by VAR this season too. Re PGMOL I completely agree because they never call fouls against us or give yellow cards and that has a massive effect on how teams play us which im sure lost us points, but let’s not be the boy who cried wolf and… Read more »


Oh I forgot about that Newcastle goal. But that was pretty borderline, only really the foul against Gabriel should habe ruled it out but plenty of those kinds of decisions went for us this season. The massive issue in that match was the Bruno Gumiares foul that deserved a red card and which the ref didn’t even see or give a booking for, which is probably why VAR didn’t even properly review it.


There was also an offside in that sequence iirc.

Was it the next fixture against Villa away where a stonewall penalty was denied?

A bad result/performance against an unfancied opposition (like Fulham) I can accept. But with all the money and technology available in the sport, bad officiating is unacceptable.


A Villa defender also hand-balled in exactly the same manner as Havertz before Havertz hand-balled and then scored. Should have been another pen.

And to @Ebo, the Newcastle one wasn’t borderline, ball was very likely out (ok let’s give benefit of the doubt; 50%), Gabriel was ABSOLUTELY fouled (mind boggling that was not called a foul on review; 100%) and Gordon was very likely offside (50%). So that was 200% not a goal.


Fine! I stand corrected then. But again I do think we have been on the positive end of some of these VAR decisions this season too and we don’t tend to remember those as much.


Can’t understand two parts of what happened with this; certainly an “offside line” can check the position of the ball relevant to the touch line? And if the cameras are sync’d why does the man and the ball need to be visible in one view to review offside? Both of those explanations stink – but no one seems to ask the technical questions. The foul was a matter of opinion – but man that’s a foul and handball (unless shoving in the back is a natural arm position).


Oh yeah, the handball too, 300% not a goal

Heavenly Chapecoense

Plus the offside rules being proposed by Wenger will require a lot of use of VAR.


I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know I hate VAR. All the spontaneous joy is completely ruined. I have a lot of American friends who would say that football is boring because of the low scores. I used to say that it was the fact scoring was rare that made the goal such an emotional event. VAR has totally taken that away. We score, they score….I feel nothing either way. I just wait to see what the guys from Manchester think 5 minutes later. It should only be used for violent conduct – and that seems to… Read more »


The Vote should have been to retain the PMGOL. Hard no for me…


Actually, it should have been to retain the FA, then both corrupt bodies would fall.


you’re only taking into account mistakes made during arsenal games. All teams have had odd decisions go against them. The point is that there are less mistakes overall being made with VAR than without it, which ultimately improves sporting fairness.

Johnny 4 Hats

Alan Davies has me in absolute stitches on a recent Tuesday Club when he said “I’m just waiting for the day I hear ‘the thing about VAR decisions is they even out over the season’”.

One of the funniest comments ever. And sadly probably quite true.


I don’t even think that’s a joke tbh. After that dismal decision v Newcastle where their goal should never have stood, we had a stonewall penalty that should have been awarded to the mugsmashers after Odegaard’s blatant handball.

Var is just refs hiding behind machines and Man U still starts with about 6 points advantage.


City got that benefit this past season and I think the one before. Have they had a bad call in the past season? Over 2 seasons? How many bad calls have they suffered? I’ll bet its 2 or 3 while the next best over last season alone probably suffered 4.

Chuck Felsea

When talking about evening out, one has to really look at the specific situations. Does a decision really even out when you compare our situation against Newcastle vs the opponent should have gotten a penalty in minute 79 while we were already 4-0 up. Technically that evens out, result wise it probably doesn’t. Agree to the rest, therefore thumbs up from me. It’s the same people, just having 6 angles and 10 minutes to decide, but for some reason they still can’t get it right. Most irritating thing is the different judging of basically identical situations. I am sure ref… Read more »


Good I guess but the major underlying problem remains. The Premier League doesn’t have a VAR problem, it has a PGMOL problem.


This. VAR is a technology, and like all technologies (cars, trains, computers, blog websites, blog websites’ news sections’ comment sections, you name it) whether it improves your life or doesn’t comes down to how you use it. PGMOL have been incompetent, asinine and often horrendously biased with or without VAR.


“With or without VAR” also sounds like the worst song U2 never wrote

See the stonewall penalty
See the red card and offside
And I wait…. for you

With or without VAR
With or without VAR oh hoh
I can’t live
With or withoouuut VAR


Just so I’m clear here, man city are now in the tyrannical majority right, not abstaining from the process the suing the pl about!?


Yes. They are clearly happy to join ‘the tyrannical majority’ when it suits them.

A Different George

For me, the second worst thing about VAR as it is actually implemented is the absurd idea that there should be a careful–very careful–search whenever a goal is scored to make sure–absolutely sure–there is no reason to disallow it. Of course, a goal should be disallowed when the VAR sees a push in the back to allow a free header to score on a corner, when the referee and assistant are blocked off. But that should be almost immediate. A search for a possible push that came 25 seconds before the goal and far up the pitch is nonsense. That’s… Read more »

Dr. Gooner

I don’t think there is any mandate from up high to search for ways to disallow goals. It seems more like depending on the referee, they might review all available footage in an effort to be thorough. I do understand that to a point; if you are asked to review a goal for offside but then see a handball in the buildup, is that still part of your purview? What if the handball was 20 passes before the goal? What if it was 5 passes? How far back can you go in the video evidence? What should be threshold for… Read more »

A Different George

Of course, no one said “try to disallow goals.” They said something like “make sure that there were no violations of the laws when a goal is scored.” So, a ball brushing an attacker’s arm (not the player who scored, but a teammate a few moments earlier)–which no one, including the attacker himself and his opponents were aware of, and which can only be noticed after repeated slow-motion viewings–is seen as sufficient to chalk off the goal. A goal that no one protested but that, unfortunately, also no one celebrated for fear of the the outcome. A goal that would… Read more »


There were 4 different ways to disallow that goal at Newcastle but they didn’t.



Jesus’ was not a handball because his arm was in contact with the rest of his body, there is zero advantage gained.

A Different George

I agree. And Michael Oliver agreed–but the VAR still sent him to look at the monitor. And I am convinced that almost every other referee would then have “changed his mind.”


I know it’s not going to happen, but VAR needs to be scrapped from all forms of football right now. I ask you a simple question: what’s more important, getting every refereeing decision absolutely right? Or preserving the entertainment value of the game? If you believe it’s the latter then you’ll have to accept that VAR has to go. I absolutely hate it when a goal goes in and everyone is celebrating – then VAR steps in and overturns it. THIS IS NOT WHAT FOOTBALL WAS MEANT TO BE! That eruption of excitement when the ball flies into the net… Read more »


The point of video assistance isn’t to get every decision right, it’s to make sure you’re not making massive mistakes on the big decisions. That is not necessarily the way it’s operating right now, but that’s because PGMOL are taking a ‘quantity over quality’ approach – maximum involvement, minimum discernment. I’ve heard one argument against the fundamental concept of video review that has given me real pause – that it ruins the live crowd experience when the ball goes in goal. I think that’s a fair criticism – I’ll just point out that it doesn’t ruin the TV experience nearly… Read more »


And massive mistakes are still being made, even with VAR. Another reason to get rid of it.

VAR should have been introduced to get rid of the “howler”: that’s why cricket brought it in. Instead, the VAR referee is re-refereeing the matches – and often coming up with the WRONG decision.

The “clear and obvious error” rule has been completely ignored.


It’s being used badly, it doesn’t mean it is bad. You want to throw the fat baby out with the bathwater, many of us just want to see football matches being called fairly, which VAR *should* definitely help with massively if used correctly. No need to go back to the dark ages or “make football great again” just do the fucking job properly.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Money is also a big part of it. A win can be worth 15M (CL or not CL).


Ask Coventry? They will tell you all about prizes


I think you’re 1000% correct here Fats. VAR is being used for EXACTLY this – re-refereeing games, which brings up more questions of subjectivity and bias (or worse) than it answers. I love the cricket video. It backs the umpire decision in instances where the margin for error or uncertainty comes into play (predicted contact of half the ball width on the stumps). Football could do exactly the same with offside. Use lines of a certain thickness. If the lines overlap, then the benefit of doubt goes to the attacking team (we all want goals) because at that point the… Read more »

Dr. Gooner

It’s not that bad. Referees were not given clear guidelines of how to apply this new system which resulted in a lot of inconsistency and confusion especially among the less confident of them. There’s also the issue of the “you’re in charge, no you’re in charge” between the match and video officials. Nobody wants to be the one responsible for mistakes.


What are you on about?
It most certainly does ruin the television experience….
Speak for yourself


I agree. When the AI offside decisions come into play I’d love to see them get rid of VAR altogether.

Heavenly Chapecoense

So you would agree with a goal given to Man City to make them win a game instead of a draw after we have chased with WWWWWW?

Emi Rates

Where’s the motion to send Man Cheaty packing from the PL? It’s time.

Dr. Gooner

They are suing the PL. Getting desperate as the hearing date for the 115 charges approaches. I saw somewhere that will be heard in November. Mean time they will try to blow up the financial restrictions themselves because they know they will be found guilty of violating them.

Dr. Gooner

I’m sure others have made this point but the video technology is not the problem. The problem is the inconsistency and at times incompetency of the people using the technology. Fans sometimes talk about VAR as if it is an individual… it’s actually Simon Hooper and the Madleys and the rest of that gang. Asking them to use technology when they already don’t feel comfortable applying the rules of the game normally just highlights their issues as referees. That’s why nobody voted to scrap it, nor should they. The people who use it need the be more facile with it… Read more »


Semi Auto-offside I hope will be a big improvement. Always thought VAR shouldnt not be used for Offside anyway.
Pens, diving and bad challenges are the only VAR worthy stuff.


Agree. Yes there is the occasional gross miss of an offside, but most of the offsides are decisions of such minute detail that one asks why there is no advantage gained


Off topic question. If Connor Gallagher is truly available for 50 million, why isnt everyone in on him? Is it contract extension demands? Chelsea or not would love to see him in red. Fantastic player

Dr. Gooner

I think there is certainly interest, but it’s hard to know what the realities are especially with a new manager at Chelsea. He would fit Klopp’s Liverpool to a T, but they have a new manager as well. Plus there are the Euros. So lots of things swirling. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him move, but not until later in the summer.

Dr. Gooner

I wouldn’t hate seeing him at Arsenal to be honest; we could do worse than a workhorse like him with the occasional golazo to boot, although I’m tired of buying from Chelsea and after the Havertz thing I doubt they’d sell to us again.


None of this addresses the main issues- getting referees from a wider pool, paying them wages commensurate with working in the premier league, and introduce an accountability/performance system and appoint referees accordingly. I think they do a little of the last thing but not enough and not transparently enough.

Dr. Gooner

I always enjoyed in the little rugby I watched how the referees would explain decisions live in front of camera. The NFL has something similar as well, as does the NBA. The PL and football in general is outdated in this regard.

Naked Cygan

FK var! It has killed the game and the fun of celebrating goals. Now you have to wait 3 minutes to figure out if u can celebrate. Human error is just part of the game and we should just leave it alone. Let’s just keep the goal line technology, let the refs decide the game. Whatever happened to the other refs that were behind the goal? Surely with 5 refs that should be enough eye’s on the game.


Celebrate first. If went against, then its okay, unlucky mate. If not, can celebrate twice. Dont get too serious, it just a game of football, not a game of live or die.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Love our glorious club. Always have, always but this stuff going on with man city and the impunity and arrogance of how they behave, not to mention the disgusting nation states coming into the game and yet more obscene money, it’s making me fall firmly out of love with top tier football.
Let’s hope The Arsenal can put that evil blue Goliath dragon to the sword next season.


VAR itself is not a problem; its implementation is. At the very least PGMOL should have nothing to do with VAR. As things stand, they are marking their own homework. We have to get away from is the idea that referees can see everything and be everywhere, and that not being able to do the impossible is some kind of mistake. VAR should be just advisory, both letting the ref know if there is better evidence (either something he didn’t see or a better angle on video), and leaving the final decision (and responsibility) in their hands. The FA have… Read more »

karl g

There’s never a VAR error, as it’s always the officials making the mistakes.

I’m looking forward to semi-automated offside coming in, which will cut the PGMOL out of the equation.


It is a sensible decision to retain VAR. The technology needs refinement and there should be further understanding of how to optimise its use. This includes improving accuracy, efficiency and speed. Getting rid of it altogether would have been a regressive step.

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