OoooOoo /Shudder VAR Thread

To separate from the main Premiership discussion, following probably the worst implementation of VAR to date on the weekend, surely it is not fit for purpose?

VAR as a principle is fine for me, but the problem isn’t the systems nor the rules… It is still at the mercy of human intervention and sadly the standard of officiating in this country is just horrific. I don’t trust the bias of certain refs and the complete lack of transparancy just gives them freedom to do whatever they want, there is no comeback for utter failings time and time again.

We must be at a point where VAR has to conducted by a completly separate body from the FA, most importantly an independant body. They would at least have the balls to tell the on the field ref that they made a mistake (which by the way is fucking ok, thats the fucking point of using technology to assist the ref, not to undermine).

…anything that has been left to police itself in the way VAR has with the same small clique of personnel is always going to be open to abuse in the quest for self survival…
If this was originally an idea laid out by FIFA… why can’t they be called upon to monitor, rectify and discipline against the footballing bodies that provide little more than the piss-poor standards we are subjected to…

I thought it might make things better but poorly executed by the powers that be defo on the get rid.Rather take a chance with the officials on field than some gobshite with his drawing lines on a screen to a fucking mm,jobsworth football fuck it off.

What we saw at the weekend was the farce of VAR failing to consider a knee high reckless tackle that has put a lad out of the game for 9 months and possibly irrevocably affected his career because they were busy trying to draw lines on a image to see if an attacker had his fingernails offside.

That, in a nutshell, is the problem.

The power of VAR is in flagging the things that the ref has missed (like the assault on Virg). That’s when it’s at its best. Not pissing about trying to spot if a player is a millimetre offside.

The officials are trying to apply an objective assessment to a subjective rule with technology that is not as accurate as the standards it’s trying to meet.

My three point plan to fix VAR would be

  • scrap the drawing of lines on a grid for offside. Use an eye test. Unless it’s clearly offside within, say, five seconds of looking at the screen, then it’s considered onside.

  • make the VAR advisory to the ref. It will tell him he’s missed something and recommend he looks at a screen.

  • Don’t let Coote anywhere fucking near it.


The one another aspect which it is taking out of the game is the sheer joy you get when your team scores goal. And the eventual aim of football is to bring joy and entertainment to fans. That to some extent is getting killed with trying to look at every decision. There’s a thin line between wanting decisions to be correct and taking the joy out of football by trying to do that for every single play. The ones which are very obvious like Sterling onside for us during 13-14 needs to be called out, but not every play with millimeter accuracy.

Can something like a manager/ captain’s review call for a limited number of calls/ game help save that? Somewhat like cricket review. Atleast not all goals will be reviewed and ones which actually seem like an obvious error will. Also teams and players will be cautious when to use it and may actually look out for right decisions, rather than complaining about everything.

I don’t celebrate goals anymore. That’s the cost of VAR.

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Yeah! And wasn’t that the whole point of fans watching football in the first place?

I hit the roof when we ‘scored’. The resultant downer from that high simply made me far, far more angrier than I ordinarily should have been. I can honestly see a fair few people who are living right on the cusp of being in control losing their shit and taking it out in some fashion thereafter.


What needs blatantly exposed is how much influence the TV companies have on exerting pressure on/toward insisting referees and VAR dance to the tune they have laid out…!!
Whoever is behind managing or controlling this VAR farce… needs to remember that it is the fans that make the game what it is (or used to be)…
Take away the fans enjoyment and it will eventually take away their interest…

My view is that VAR is fine.

What is wrong IMO is the whole idiotic process that has been put in place simply because they thought they could do it better than anyone else. They have failed miserably

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I wouldn’t want FIFA involved, another bunch of corrupt wankers…

VAR works in many sports, in other countries for football also… I’ve seen it in rugby league for years and can count on 1 hand the times I’ve disagreed once seeing the replay myself.

The process works, it’s not hard to implement, the common denominator in the UK is the people operating it and the complete lack of transparancy of the process. Until that changes it will just get worse.


Same for me. It’s not a bad idea to have a second layer above the ref who can be prone to mistakes by nature. The technology is there, and can be used to good effect. It would be stupid not to use it.

Then again, as you say, the FA, instead of looking at what works well or not so well in Europe since quite some time already, have gone the full insular way: let us not look right or left, let us start from scratch and make our own mistakes instead. The result: a mess. And an open door to VAR actually influencing results in an unjust way, thus the contrary of what it was meant for.

If VAR can help to get better results in terms of refereeing, then I’m prepared to pay that price. Last year, it definitely helped us on our way, as it mostly helped correct mistakes which would have gone against us otherwise.

But what happened the other day is a new evolution. It’s VAR not helping the ref to correct his mistakes, but completely biasing a match through inaccurate decisions. In the case of the late ‘offside’, Coote actually took over the decisional power from Oliver. Oliver and his linesman had judged the situation accurately, but Coote then came in and took it away from them.

That is unacceptable and dangerous, as it actually opens up a door for easy match fixing.


Bang on. But with Coote taking taking charge it means that Oliver feels his work is done. The result is that actually no one is actually in charge at all.

VAR works really well in rugby and doesn’t detract from the game at all. In some ways it adds an extra layer of suspense as an incident is reviewed. The key differences are:

  • The referee remains in charge of the whole process. They direct VAR what to look at.
  • VAR can advise the referee of an incident, “please look at X”
  • Officials are miked so you can hear the conversation. There is 100% clarity.
  • all the officials actually talk to each other but the referee remains the sole person in charge. Look at any red card incident in rugby now and they all go through it and the referee will actually consult the linesman and VAR and ask if they are in agreement of what happened and that the punishment is a red card (or other).

In football they decided they could do it better and got no where near. And furthermore it’s all cloak and daggers as if they want to hide everything. People need to see more. Lord knows what it’s like in the stadium with a VAR decision in process. Horrible I suspect.


It just ain’t functioning in the spirit of the game, is it??


Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the English FA came off it’s insular mentality, had a look at this, and implemented some of it? If it works well for rugby, why not for football?


The refereeing doesn’t make any sense and drives me fucking mad so something needs to be done,VAR,hold my beer.

This is what is so frustrating.

I remember them specifically stating that they looked at how it works elsewhere. They appear to have subsequently binned all of that information or decided to ignore it.

This type of thinking seems to really widespread in the UK at the moment within those that govern. And in many occasions this has been proved to be completely and utterly wrong.

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This is one of the problems. People are pulling their hair out over their interpretation of what has been reported, but there is at least 2 levels of filtering of the information by the time any person tries to understand what happened. The issue is, despite the various inside reports and statements from the PL/PGMOL what we still don’t know is what the conversation was between Oliver and the VAR regarding the foul. Did they just not discuss it between them? Did Oliver reject the opportunity to review the incident? We know the outcome was ridiculous, it’s difficult to really judge how they fucked it up without knowing that, and we will never get that because the powers that be just do not want that transparency.

Another issue though is if we got this transparency it still would not help. I don’t know how many people have ever spoken to top level refs about the game, but what they describe is a game you as a fan or player just do not recognize. Their entire perspective on the game is based on the outcome of conversations in meeting rooms among non-players about how the game should be reffed. Those conversations are not focused on how to get the right outcome, but how to get clarity for the refs on what they should do. Over the last 20 years or so it appears to me a divergence has occurred between those two things. They are constantly trying to retrofit the rules/interpretations to situations that caused confusion the previous year all with the intention of making the decision making process clear and unambiguous. Consideration of whether the outcome aligns with the expectations or desires of the players or fans just does not occur.

That needs to change, rules and interpretations need to always focus on the first principles of whether that is what the fans and players want and expect from a decision, but the reality is IFAB and PGMOL are also only responding to the pressures put on them. Every time we as fans complain about lack of consistency, or the brainless pundits say “it’s not that I cant see how that was a red card, but we have to consistency, Jim”, you create an incentive for these organizations to write their rules and interpretations in this way.

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To be fair, the PL is now using the international standard approach for VAR this year.

So it’s shit all over the world then!

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