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Premier League clubs make mind up on future of VAR amid Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham stance

The LED board shows the VAR check for a penalty to Tottenham Hotspur, which is given by Referee Michael Oliver during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal FC.
-Credit: (Image: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)


Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham along with the other Premier League clubs are poised to vote in favour of retaining VAR at the division's imminent meeting.

Wolves instigated an unprecedented vote among top-flight clubs last month. The Midlands outfit argued that VAR was straining the bond between fans and the sport, and that the technology was "at odds with the spirit of the game".

This vote will reach its climax later this week at a shareholders' meeting. All 17 clubs who were in the Premier League will be present, along with the three promoted clubs Leicester, Ipswich and Southampton.

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 6, in Harrogate. Wolves require 14 clubs to vote in favour of ditching the technology. However, according to The Telegraph, this seems unlikely.

It's suggested that league clubs - including Liverpool, Manchester United and West Ham - believe that the technology should stay in play, but with modifications. The Premier League have already implemented tweaks ahead of the 2024/25 season.

Clubs are expected to receive briefs on the automatic offside technology set to be utilised. It's hoped that this technology will reduce wait times caused by offside decisions by an average of 31 seconds.

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Howard Webb, the chief of English referees, is also poised to make additional changes to VAR. This includes making on-field announcements when any check is being conducted - audio that will be broadcast within stadiums.

Ahead of Thursday's vote, the Premier League stated: "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 [Professional Game Match Officials Limited], to make continued improvements to the system for the benefit of the game and fans."

VAR has been a part of the Premier League since the 2019/20 season, after clubs unanimously voted to introduce the technology in November 2018.Wolves, however, have called on clubs to reconsider that vote, stating: "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.".

Back in November, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta spoke out about how VAR was implemented following the decision to allow Anthony Gordon's winning goal for Newcastle. Last season new Chelsea boss Enzo Maresca spoke of how he wanted VAR in the Championship.

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou has however called for the technology to be scrapped. Speaking back in November, he said: "With VAR, the more we use it the worse it's going to get. Clear and obvious error? It seems like everything is getting scrutinised.

"It's not our game. We're not rugby - we don't have those stoppages. What I always loved about our game - especially in England - was the frenetic pace. Why are we trying to take that out? None of us liked it when they were taking too long over a decision and last week it sounded like they were rushing it. Maybe that's a consequence."