Premier League clubs to vote on scrapping VAR after Wolves proposal

Wolves have tabled a motion to abolish VAR from the start of the 2024-25 Premier League season, with a vote to be held next month.

Premier League clubs will be asked to vote on the prospect of scrapping VAR for next season following a proposal from Wolves.

The use of VAR in the Premier League has been a talking point since its introduction at the start of the 2019-20 season, with a number of controversial decisions intensifying the debate surrounding its use this term.

Wolves have been on the wrong end of several contentious decisions this season, starting from their opening game last August, as Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) representative Jon Moss apologised for a failure to award them a penalty during a 1-0 loss to Manchester United.

More recently, Wolves saw a potential stoppage-time equaliser against West Ham disallowed for a subjective offside call against Tawanda Chirewa, with boss Gary O’Neil given a one-match ban for a post-match outburst towards referee Tony Harrington.

Nottingham Forest have also been angered by several decisions in recent weeks, while PGMOL memorably apologised to Liverpool after Luis Diaz saw a goal wrongly disallowed in a 2-1 defeat at Tottenham last September.

Wolves have now tabled a resolution calling for VAR to be abolished, with clubs set to vote on the issue at an annual general meeting on June 6. Premier League rules require 14 of 20 clubs to vote in favour of a proposal for it to pass.

In a widely reported statement, Wolves said VAR had been introduced “in good faith and with the best interests of football and the Premier League at heart” but lamented a number of negative repercussions. 

The club say VAR has caused frustration and confusion among match-going fans, negatively impacted the atmosphere at games, diminished accountability of match officials and overreached beyond its original aim to correct “clear and obvious” errors.

Wolves also said persistent errors being made despite the presence of VAR were difficult to accept and had furthered “completely nonsensical” allegations of corruption from supporters.

The club added: “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.”

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.”

Sweden recently became the first country to opt against the implementation of VAR at the top level following a fan backlash.  

Wolves boss O’Neil has repeatedly spoken out against the use of VAR since saying the award of two controversial penalties to Fulham in a 3-2 loss last November had turned him against the technology. 

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