SPFL clubs vote unanimously in favour to introduce VAR technology in Scottish Premiership next season

All 42 Scottish Professional Football League clubs cast their vote at a General Meeting on Tuesday morning
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VAR will be implemented in Scottish football next season after a majority of SPFL clubs voted in favour of the proposal during a general meeting at Hampden on Tuesday morning.

The use of video assistant referee technology will be installed at every cinch Premiership ground over the coming months, with a full launch expected following the conclusion of the World Cup in December 2022.

Top-flight clubs will share the cost, anticipated to be around £1.2million per season on a proportional basisbased on prize money for end-of-season league positions.

That follows an independent financial review of the costs and a benchmarking exercise carried out by the European Leagues.

This means that the Premiership winners will pay the largest sum at approximately £195k per season, with a sliding scale to the 12th club, which will pay around £67k.

GlasgowWorldunderstands a total of 41 clubs voted in favour, with just one club rejecting the move.

Neil Doncaster, Chief Executive of the SPFL told the Scottish FA website: “I’m very pleased that we received the necessary 75% votes in the cinch Premiership, the cinch Championship, and cinch Leagues 1 and 2, which enable us to forge ahead with VAR technology next season.”

The introduction of VAR later this year will allow for the necessary upgrades and installations at all cinch Premiership stadia, including fibre.

The SPFL will use the Hawkeye Innovations System, which is already in use at many leagues worldwide, including the English Premier League.

Doncaster indicated that Scottish referees are “fully on board” after holding various trials at lower league games in recent weeks.

He added: “The SPFL chose not to be an early adopter of VAR technology to allow time for teething issues to be ironed out by those leagues who adopted VAR early.

Referees trialled VAR software at a special Hampden training session in March. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)Referees trialled VAR software at a special Hampden training session in March. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Referees trialled VAR software at a special Hampden training session in March. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

“I believe this was the right decision and that VAR will help referees to ensure tight decisions are more often the right ones and will support a higher standard and more consistent level of decision-making.

“Scottish referees are fully on-board with this innovation and have been overwhelmingly supportive about the introduction of VAR during our consultation process with our partners at the Scottish FA.”

Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA chief executive, commented: “Throughout the consultation process we were encouraged that the principle of VAR was supported by clubs, players, coaches and match officials.

“The benefits of VAR are clear and with the commitment of the Scottish FA, SPFL and now the approval of the league’s 42 member clubs, we can now look forward to continuing the implementation process with a view to VAR being a key part of Scottish football’s future.”

With a scheduled implementation date of December 2022, the SPFL also plans to use VAR in the Premier Sports Cup semi-finals and finals in January and February of next year, with further discussions planned regarding its use during earlier rounds in future seasons.