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HomeNews2024-2025 Season: Premier League Clubs Vote To Keep VAR, Introduce Spending Cap

2024-2025 Season: Premier League Clubs Vote To Keep VAR, Introduce Spending Cap

English Premier League clubs have agreed to continue using Video Assistant Referee (VAR) during the 2024-2025 season despite all the controversies surrounding the technology.

Earlier today, June 6, representatives of all the 20 Premier League clubs who are qualified to play in the 2024-2025 season met for the league’s Annual General Meeting.

During the meeting, the clubs agreed that improvements should be made in the operations of the VAR for the benefit of the game and its supporters.

They also agreed that the body in charge of referees, Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the Premier League, and clubs all have crucial roles to play in enhancing the VAR system and its reputation.

A Premier League statement reads: “While VAR produces more accurate decision-making, it was agreed that improvements should be made for the benefit of the game and supporters.”

The clubs have agreed on six key areas to improve the accuracy of the VAR system, including:
1. Maintaining a high threshold for VAR intervention to ensure consistency and minimize interruptions to the game’s flow.
2. Reducing delays through the introduction of semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) and maintaining a high threshold for VAR intervention.
3. Enhancing the fan experience by minimizing delays and providing better in-stadium announcements and big-screen replays of all VAR interventions where possible.

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Other areas of focus include:
1. Collaborating with PGMOL to implement more robust VAR training to improve consistency and speed while maintaining accuracy.
2. Increasing transparency and communication around VAR, including expanded communications from the Premier League Match Centre and through broadcast programming such as “Match Officials Mic’d Up.”
3. Launching a fan and stakeholder VAR communication campaign to clarify VAR’s role in the game to participants and supporters.

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The Premier League has confirmed that Semi-Automated Offside Technology (SAOT) will be introduced in the autumn of 2024. This technology will provide quicker and more consistent placement of the virtual offside line based on optical player tracking and produce high-quality broadcast graphics to enhance the in-stadium and broadcast experience for supporters.

The statement further noted that the Premier League and PGMOL will continue to lobby the International Football Association Board (IFAB) to allow greater flexibility in the Laws of the Game, permitting live video and audio broadcasts during VAR reviews.

Meanwhile, the Premier League clubs have voted in favour of an alternative financial system that will act like a spending cap. The new system will start on trial from the 2024-2025 season.

The new system includes the Squad Cost Rules (SCR) and Top to Bottom Anchoring Rules (TBA), which will work alongside the existing Profitability and Sustainability Rules (PSR) on a “non-binding basis”.

According to the new system, teams will be allowed to spend a maximum of 85% of their total revenues on squads. The Premier League stated that the TBA is “designed to be a preemptive measure to protect the competitive balance of the Premier League”.

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