Premier League Confirm No Major Changes to Use of VAR Pitchside Monitors Following Meeting

​The Premier League has announced that pitchside monitors will continue to be used sparingly by referees during the VAR process, following a meeting involving all 20 top flight clubs.  

The technology was introduced into the league at the beginning of the season, but it has been repeatedly criticised for numerous reasons. 

Most recently, Manchester City fans were left bemused that a potential handball by Trent Alexander-Arnold was not picked up by VAR in their game against Liverpool, and Everton manager Marco Silva also called for a greater level of consistency in refereeing decisions.

Jurgen Klopp has also b​een critical, asking UEFA to implement changes to the system at a recent managers summit, while former referees boss Keith Hackett similarly blasted the poor standard of officiating this campaign.

Due to this, VAR was at the forefront of concerns discussed at Thursday’s meet-up of the bosses of all 20 Premier League clubs.

Martin Atkinson

However, ​a Premier League statement has revealed that despite the criticism, there will be no changes to the way that pitchside monitors are used by referees this season. 

The statement “reemphasised that [pitchside monitors] would be reserved for unseen incidents, or when information from the VAR is outside the expectation range of the referee.”

The announcement comes as somewhat of a surprise as only a few days prior it was expected that the meeting ​would result in a shift in the way that VAR is used in the Premier League.

Other issues discussed on Thursday included the time that it takes to complete a VAR check. Current chief referee Mike Riley is reported by Dale Johnson of ESPN to have suggested “speed and consistency of decision-making are priority areas of work and will improve as the officials become more experienced with the technology and protocols.”

Currently, the average time for a VAR check is around 33 seconds, while the average duration of an overturned decision is approximately 75 seconds.

Tottenham Hotspur v Sheffield United - Premier League

There is also likely to lead to a change in the way that information of technology uses are reported to spectators in the stadium.

From next month in-stadia updates will be more specific. For instance, instead of ‘Checking Penalty’, fans can expected to see messages such as ‘Checking Penalty – Possible Handball’.


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