Everton and Liverpool handed huge VAR update as Premier League clubs set for showdown

VAR could reportedly be scrapped by the Premier League
VAR could reportedly be scrapped by the Premier League -Credit:Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

Premier League clubs will reportedly vote over whether to abolish the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system.

Liverpool were caught up in a hugely controversial decision involving VAR during their 2-1 defeat at Tottenham back in September 2023. The Reds had an opening goal by Luis Diaz ruled out by a VAR decision, as the officials quickly ruled the Colombian offside without showing the customary offside line graphics.

And now The Athletic reports that a vote will take place on June 6 involving representatives from all 20 Premier League clubs. It is said that Wolves formally submitted the resolution.

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Wolves said in a statement: “The introduction of VAR in 2019/20 was a decision made in good faith and with the best interests of football and the Premier League at its heart.

“However, it has led to numerous unintended negative consequences that are damaging the relationship between fans and football, and undermining the value of the Premier League brand. The decision to table the resolution has come after careful consideration and with the utmost respect for the Premier League, 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.”

Any potential rule change would need approval from 14 of 20 members to pass. VAR has been used in the English top-flight since 2019 but has caused controversy since it was introduced.

A Premier League spokesperson said: “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.”

Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) chief Howard Webb expressed his disappointment at the VAR error which saw Diaz's goal disallowed back in September.

“We're all disappointed the VAR system didn't step in to rectify the clear error we'd seen on the field with the disallowing of the goal,” he said on the Match Officials: Mic'd Up show on Sky Sports and TNT Sports.

“Nobody is more disappointed than the officials themselves. They take pride in their work, they want to be a positive influence on the game, but in this situation it wasn't the case. Of course without VAR that disallowed goal would still have been a disallowed goal but VAR exists to step in when we make a wrong decision on the field.

“So of course we're disappointed. Our job then was to try to find out what happened and what we can do to prevent that sort of thing happening again in the future.”