Wolverhampton triggers vote to abolish VAR in Premier League

Wolverhampton triggers vote to abolish VAR in Premier League

Wolverhampton Initiates Vote to Abolish VAR in Premier League

Wolverhampton have written to the Premier League, asking them to scrap VAR from the league next season. They believe that the introduction of the technology has led to more frustration for fans and hostility inside the stadiums.

The Wolves argue that there has only been a small increase in decisions but that it has completely diminished the accountability of the on-field officials. With the written letter, they have triggered a vote at the league’s AGM next month.

The letter read:

Wolves have formally submitted a resolution to the Premier League to trigger a vote at the league’s AGM in June, on the removal of VAR from the start of the 2024/25 season. 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, which include:
• Impact on goal celebrations and the spontaneous passion that makes football special.
• Frustration and confusion inside stadiums due to lengthy VAR checks and poor communication.
•A more hostile atmosphere with protests, the booing of the Premier League anthem, and chants against VAR.
• Overreach of VAR’s original purpose to correct clear and obvious mistakes, now overanalyzing subjective decisions and compromising the game’s fluidity and integrity.
• Diminished accountability of on-field officials, due to safety net of VAR, leading to an erosion of authority on the pitch.
• Continued errors despite VAR, with supporters unable to accept human error after multiple views and replays, damaging confidence in officiating standards.
• Disruption of the Premier League’s fast pace with lengthy VAR checks and more added time, causing matches to run excessively long.
• Constant discourse about VAR decisions often overshadows the match itself, tarnishing the reputation of the league.
• Erosion of trust and reputation, with VAR fueling completely nonsensical allegations of corruption.

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.”

David Ornstein has reported that at least 14 Premier League clubs need to vote in favor of scrapping VAR for the league to consider the motion. 

Last month, Sweden became the first country to reject the implementation of VAR after a fan backlash. However, the Swedish clubs have 51% fan ownership, which is not the case in the Premier League.

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