Huge change to VAR that fans desperately want is being considered by Premier League officials in biggest revamp since the system was introduced

Huge change to VAR that fans desperately want is being considered by Premier League officials in biggest revamp since the system was introduced

  • PGMOL are considering the biggest revamp to VAR since it was introduced
  • Fans have wanted to hear the decisions made by referees and other officials 
  • Is the North London Derby the best clash in the Premier League? Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off! podcast

Premier League referees are set to use the stadium PA system to explain VAR decisions after visiting their pitch-side monitor, PGMOL chief Howard Webb has confirmed.

Mail Sport revealed in January how this initiative was set to be introduced for next season and Webb spoke on Tuesday night on why they want to improve the fan experience. When John Brooks awarded Burnley their penalty at Manchester United after being sent to his monitor, for example, he would then clarify why he overturned his original decision to the crowd.

Football’s lawmakers IFAB have spent more than a year trialling this idea and, with broadcasting the live conversation between referees and VARs still not permitted, the Premier League sees this as the next best solution to lessening confusion.

Webb was discussing a spot-kick incident in Brentford’s goalless draw with Brighton on his television show Match Officials Mic’d Up when he was asked by the host Michael Owen whether the information available to supporters needs to improve.

‘It does need improving,’ Webb said. ‘When you hear the clips on shows like this it makes sense what’s happening. It all becomes apparent.

PGMOL are considering the biggest revamp to the operation of VAR since it was introduced

Referees' chief Howard Webb admitted information offered in the grounds needs improving

Referees’ chief Howard Webb admitted information offered in the grounds needs improving

‘You’ll hear the referee, Andy Madley, having been to the screen saying, “I’m going to speak to Lewis Dunk to explain why the penalty that he feels he should have isn’t going to happen because he’s fouled (Yoane) Wissa before that.”

‘We’re looking at ways to improve the in-stadium experience. One of the things you’ll have seen maybe in FIFA tournaments, like the Women’s World Cup, is announcements from the referee once they’ve been to the screen. We’re looking at that.

‘We’re keeping an open mind about whether that’s something we could utilise in the Premier League. For situations like this, it would be really useful for the referee to be able to speak to all of the people in the stadium – [to explain] the rationale for why you didn’t give a penalty because of the foul that happened before the penalty appeal when Dunk fouled Wissa.’

It would follow a similar process to the one displayed at the 2023 Women's World Cup

It would follow a similar process to the one displayed at the 2023 Women’s World Cup

Meanwhile, Webb admitted there was a VAR cock-up in Nottingham Forest’s controversial 2-0 loss to Everton earlier this month. That defeat led to Forest revealing how they told the PGMOL that they felt it was wrong for a Luton supporter in Stuart Attwell to act as VAR.

While Forest insisted they should have been awarded three penalties, Webb claimed only one of those incidents should have resulted in Attwell sending Anthony Taylor to his monitor – for when Ashley Young brought down Callum Hudson-Odoi from behind without touching the ball.



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