05/01/2024 94comments  |  Jump to last

Everton are appealing the egregious red card shown to Dominic Calvert-Lewin last night after he won the ball in a challenge with Nathaniel Clyne that VAR Craig Pawson judged to be serious foul play.

The Everton striker was sent off  in the FA Cup 3rd Round tie against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park after referee Chris Kavanagh was advised to review the incident on the pitch-side monitor.

Kavanagh had seen no issue with Calvert-Lewin's challenge in real-time but, predictably, reversed his call on Pawson's advice once he had watched replays of the incident.

It was a highy contentious decision that has sparked outrage inside and outside the Everton camp and could have serious consequences for the club, with Calvert-Lewin now due to miss three consecutive matches through suspension.

Article continues below video content

The punishment comes at a time when the squad is exhausted and stretched after a full festive fixture list mired in further controversy around a disallowed Calvert-Lewin goal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium before Christmas and a harsh handball decision against Amadou Onana that helped Manchester City to victory at Goodison Park.

The striker’s suspension will pose an issue for Dyche at a difficult time for his squad but Everton hope they can successfully challenge the dreadful decision and the punishment, having lodged an appeal against the red card in the hope of having it rescinded and Calvert-Lewin’s suspension voided.


Reader Comments (94)

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Jerome Shields
1 Posted 05/01/2024 at 13:45:58
By all means appeal it. We have to try and have Calvert-Lewin available for selection.
Dave Lynch
2 Posted 05/01/2024 at 13:55:59
No way will it get overturned.
They will have to admit their sacred cow made a mistake...again, plus it's Everton.
Mark Murphy
3 Posted 05/01/2024 at 14:23:06
Not enough is being made of that gobshite Clyne's part in this. The cheating cunt made sure the VAR got involved and was waving at the ref within minutes insisting he got back on the pitch whilst we had 10 men.

The same as in the 3-2, Palace players were “buying” fouls the whole game. I used to like them but after two visits this season they can fuck off and join the Shite and the Skunks on my hate list! UTFT

Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 05/01/2024 at 14:28:32
Dave (2),

You seem sure; wait and see what happens. You know it was a very poor decision and lots of people inside football are condemning this sending-off.

Paul Hughes
5 Posted 05/01/2024 at 14:30:43
No way will it be overturned. As usual the reviewers will close ranks. Bent as a £9 note.
Paul Hewitt
6 Posted 05/01/2024 at 14:38:20
If it's not overturned, then we need just pack it all in. What would be the point?
John Chambers
7 Posted 05/01/2024 at 15:01:05
Paul #5, see inflation has had a new impact, it was a 9 bob note when I was a kid!

Anyway I think the club has no alternative but to appeal, if for no other reason than to continue to challenge the authorities and highlight the continuous agenda against us.

Kieran Kinsella
8 Posted 05/01/2024 at 15:15:58
Dave 2/Dave 4

Unusually, I haven't seen anyone defending the decision. Even an ex-Palace player on the Beeb said it was ridiculous.

As for Clyne's part in it, maybe if we had lawyers worth their money, someone would refer back to Niasse's retrospective ban for simulation against Palace. I just wonder who handles appeals and complaints etc for Everton because Andy Burnham's open letter touching on a few specific issues seems to have stirred up more debates than decades of Everton appealing this and that.

I don't know if we employ Oliver Twist to handle negotiations and he meekly shows up at the FA, cap in hand, saying "Please, Sir, can I have some more justice?"

Paul Hughes
9 Posted 05/01/2024 at 15:47:09
John (7),

Yes, 9-bob note to me too. But nobody these days knows what I'm talking about.

Phil Smith
10 Posted 05/01/2024 at 15:59:58
It is right we should appeal it. If Spurs can get Son's red overturned, then 100% this will be as well.

The pressure is mounting on the injustice we're getting this season. I would be amazed if they had the balls to even debate this one.

Phil Smith
11 Posted 05/01/2024 at 16:05:50
As rubbish as Lampard was as a manager, he didn't hold back when he thought we were being shafted by the FA and pulled no punches on the subject.

We need to appeal this card tout suite.

Stephen Davies
12 Posted 05/01/2024 at 16:09:03
Kieran #8...

With regards to Clyne...vwhat part of the tackle actually caused him to fall to the ground? The force of the tackle? The location on the ankle? His leg being taken away from him?

Or... none of the above?

The point being, in such instances, all the focus appears to be on the tackler and not the one being tackled. Another example: Jota's response during their last game, enough of a contact to make someone fall to the floor?

Whenever a player is tackled, now the regular response is a scream or face grimace followed by holding the ankle and face buried in the ground – even when there was minimal contact.

It's cheating!

Jay Harris
13 Posted 05/01/2024 at 16:19:01
It seemed to me that Clyne came in late and lifted his leg to avoid collision then went down like a man riddled with bullets.

To me his socks would have been torn if serious contact had been made and he never got near the ball so if anyone endangered a player it was Clyne.

If this isn't overturned on appeal it is a major travesty bordering on corruption.

Rob Halligan
14 Posted 05/01/2024 at 16:35:09
Keith Hackett, a former PGMOL chief, says he was flabbergasted that three referees thought that was a sending-off last night, and he fully expects the decision to be overturned.

I assume the three referees are Kavanagh, Pawson and whoever the fourth official was.

Kieran Kinsella
15 Posted 05/01/2024 at 16:56:24

Precisely. Whatever happened to the simulations review panel? He should be suspended – not Calvert-Lewin.

Christine Foster
16 Posted 05/01/2024 at 17:50:06
Right, after looking at the incident several times, it's clear to me that Calvert-Lewin was attempting to bring a ball under control, which he did. No excessive force, nor did he endanger Patsy Clyne, as he wanted to control the bouncing ball and bring it back towards him. The only way he could do that was by getting his foot over the ball, it did not endanger the player at all.

No one has mentioned it but clearly any sliding tackle is outlawed in the Premier League. Any contact is deemed dangerous to an opposing player. Yet impeding a player by grabbing him or blocking his progress to prevent a scoring chance in a penalty area is deemed not foul play?

This ridiculous "art" of fouling a player in a penalty area is being taught and coached. How to cheat in your own penalty area... it used to be that the only body contact was shoulder to shoulder or a legitimate tackle. The game was not broken, but now it's "fixed".

Phil Smith
17 Posted 05/01/2024 at 17:58:38
"Patsy Clyne"! Hahaha... dead.
Tony Everan
18 Posted 05/01/2024 at 18:00:42
I'm betting it will be overturned because it was a ridiculous decision and they cannot set a precedent for this being right.
Will Mabon
19 Posted 05/01/2024 at 18:04:36
'The game was not broken, but now it's "fixed". '

This needs to be on a few T-shirts.

Mike Corcoran
20 Posted 05/01/2024 at 18:21:35
We should replay the match…. err, hang on.
Jay Harris
21 Posted 05/01/2024 at 19:06:24
It seemed to me that Clyne came in late and lifted his leg to avoid collision, then went down like a man riddled with bullets.
To me, his socks would have been torn if serious contact had been made and he never got near the ball so if anyone endangered a player it was Clyne.

If this isn't overturned on appeal it is a major travesty bordering on corruption.

Jay Evans
22 Posted 05/01/2024 at 20:22:47
This will get overturned without a doubt.

Will it really make much difference though ? I keep reading/hearing how important he is to how we play and I get that, but when was the last time he scored ?

I never, ever fancy him when he’s in front of goal. Ever.

Beto isn’t much of a back up either but what are the alternatives ?

What would you give for a decent, young striker coming through from The Academy ….

Bill Gienapp
23 Posted 05/01/2024 at 20:33:43
If I'm not mistaken, Digne's red card against Southampton was downgraded from a three-match suspension to a one-match suspension, so it's not like we've *never* seen a decision go in our favor (though we do tend to get the short end of the stick).
Stuart Sharp
24 Posted 05/01/2024 at 20:35:33
I agree that Dom needs a goal (shame about that great finish against Spurs), but I'm surprised by several posters being so critical of him. I'd say he has been absolutely key to how Dyche has improved us - he is a very effective focal point.

The main problem recently has been the absence of Doucoure behind him... and possibly the inconsistency of our crosses.

Anthony Dove
25 Posted 05/01/2024 at 21:50:06
Jay@22 do you mean Tom Cannon?
Derek Knox
26 Posted 05/01/2024 at 23:25:28
Paul & John, "Yes, 9-bob note to me too. But nobody these days knows what I'm talking about."

Only the old and the bent!

Ha ha, you are right of course, bet all these referees these days are well aware of the bent allusion though!

Seriously though, something has to be done and quickly. Hypothetically we could have conceded a goal when wrongly down to 10 men. Also in the same vein, Calvert-Lewin's red gets rescinded (a strong possibility) and we would have been out of the Cup.

Will Mabon, absolutely brilliant and spot on there mate!

Transpose that scenario to the last game of the season and we needed 1 point to stay safe and remain in the Premier League, against any side by the way, which we have needed unfortunately on two occasions??

Paul Birmingham
27 Posted 06/01/2024 at 00:31:36
Sack the PGMOL and restart the VAR - POC, etc, and don't reinstate until it's clear, clean and approved. It's taken the piss, and it seems on a weekly in a month average for Everton if not more.

I've had this season, Chelsea, West Ham, Fulham, United, Spurs fans, and even Old Nick say it's taking the piss, and these are football people. It's brought the Premier League to the sewage farm.

Cack house referees who have no bottle and VAR clowns, it stinks the place out every weekend and it's not the Higsons as back in the day at Goodison Park.

But Evertonians will fight the good fight with all purpose.


John Pickles
28 Posted 06/01/2024 at 00:40:11
They'll probably uphold the decision and dock us another 3 points for appealing.
Jonathan Oppenheimer
29 Posted 06/01/2024 at 03:17:10
As I've shown on TW in the past, I'm generally supportive of referees, because I've been in hundreds of conversations during my referee education over the past 14 years. I have a good sense of why referees are making the decisions they make, even when I disagree, and I know how difficult the job is.

Even here, I'll never go down the road of calling Pawson, the Premier League, or PMGOL corrupt. I get the thinking of why he thought this could be red.

All that said, I'm confident this will get overturned. There are just no knowledgeable players or referees who can defend this decision. It won't be much consolation, but it will hopefully show there is some level of accountability with PMGOL.

The biggest issue I think that every fan of every team agrees on is how wildly inconsistent these decisions are. My prediction is that at the very least we'll start to hear communication from the VAR. The problem there is that, on this call, you'd simply hear Pawson saying he thought Calvert-Lewin was endangering the safety of the opponent, high studs, contact on the shin, etc.

I've heard calls for VAR-only officials, and that's a possibility if you pay them well enough, but you need referees who've been on the pitch at the highest level, and I'm not sure enough of them would want to just sit in a room being the VAR.

These calls will always be subjective, but hopefully this terrible decision will help bring about some more consistency and transparency going forward.

Kieran Kinsella
30 Posted 06/01/2024 at 03:40:48

Good post mate and happy new year. It’s interesting Mike Gaynes also a ref or former ref who often rocks the boat on here by not agreeing with “ref sucks” tirades used some colorful language on the LF disagreeing with the pen that never was. But the key thing you correctly highlight is inconsistency. And (tin helmet on) even the RS have suffered from a few egregious decisions this year versus norms set elsewhere.

That said I read earlier today that 14 players have received yellow cards this season for fouling Raheem Sterling. Does that indicate everyone is out to get him or some or many of these 14 cards are for offences like the Denmark Penalty so called at the Euros? There does seem to be one rule not so much for clubs but for certain players eg Salah, Sterling. Are refs intimidated by them? Are they just that convincing at diving? I don’t know but you’d think VAR would be the great equalizer and yet it’s not. But then TV shows wheel out Elleray and Clattenburg and they can’t even agree on what’s a foul and what’s not. It probably doesn’t help they tweak the rules every few months on handballs, intent, etc. But as a former fairly shit ref myself I’ve found that in the face of ambiguity the “safe” option is the go to. Honestly I remember reffing some games in snow with a hangover at 7am on a Sunday morning and having not had a clear view of things I just went with the reaction of the loudest — usually the better teams with angry vocal coaches. That’s why I quit reffing because as a coach when my Alabama high school team won a championship I was doing the exact same thing myself trying to go Mourinho and influence refs. I didn’t want to be that ref, but my legs were too slow and my attention span too short to do the job justice so I called it quits the last time my metatarsal went. But again had there been VAR at that low level to shut up the Kieran coach or correct the Kieran ref then we’d have seen a different story. But this same farce plays out at the highest of levels with the best of the best earning tens of millions. That is just ridiculous.

Derek Thomas
31 Posted 06/01/2024 at 07:35:30
Jonathan @29 and Kieran @30; Fifa's own laws state – or used to... The Referee controls the Game with help from assistants.

V: Video.
A: Assistant!
R: Referee.

(The clue is in the name!)

PMGOL are employed by the Premier League (he who pays the piper etc.) who 'set' the 'Rules of Engagement'. Who does what, aka, the VAR. Thus, the whole shooting match is, in my opinion, in breach of the rules of the game.

The VAR is controlling the Referee. To my knowledge, they've supposedly 'tweaked' it 3(?) times now, to make it better — and each time made it worse.

Martin Farrington
32 Posted 06/01/2024 at 08:29:31
Pawson !!!! The halfwit that disallowed Tarks goal and has never shown anything other than bias towards us.

He is without doubt one of the worst officials in the history of refereeing and there are many infamous characters wrestling for that crown.

Including the clueless Kavanagh.

The PGMOL has had some real beauts in charge.

Now we have Howard Webb. The man in the centre who made a mockery of himself in his world cup final appearance.

I DO NOT believe referees should be in charge of Referees.

Nor VAR.

IMO it should be an independent. Away from personal contact and friendship. To keep them focused. And neutrality. Which clearly it is not hence so many poor decisions.

An easy fix

Kim Vivian
33 Posted 06/01/2024 at 09:01:55
"...it should be an independent. Away from personal contact and friendship. To keep them focused. And neutrality...!"

Bang on. Dead right that. Having at least on credible ex player on any panel would be good as well.

When do we hear if (that!) the appeal is successful?

Nigel Munford
34 Posted 06/01/2024 at 10:01:44
I’ve watched the tackle numerous times from numerous angles, Dom gets the ball before any contact with the player, he played the ball, contact looked to be minimal, perfect tackle in a contact sport, so why did the player go down like he’d been poleaxed, cheating that’s why.
Dave Abrahams
35 Posted 06/01/2024 at 10:18:56
Craig Pawson has long been derided as a premier league referee, he was demoted to referee championship games in 2022 after a very poor decision in a Man.Unt. v Newcastle game.

There was a petition on Change ‘Or to get rid of him as a referee because of his poor handling of games, his perceived bias against certain teams and generally just not good enough to referee in the premier league.

I don’t know about refereeing in the premier league but his obvious bias and poor decisions when refereeing Everton games should mean him not being asked to referee any more Everton matches.

Rob Halligan
36 Posted 06/01/2024 at 10:31:31
This season we have seen a successful sending off appeal for the RS. This challenge by MacAllister was defended by Dermot Gallagher. Will he be so defensive in favour of DCL on Monday morning on Ref Watch. In my opinion this challenge was far more dangerous than that of DCL, so I’m fully expecting the appeal to be successful………….


Mark Murphy
37 Posted 06/01/2024 at 10:32:15
100% Nigel and they get away with it, aided and abetted by the morons on commentary who say “ooo, there WAS contact tho…” I watched MOTD for the first time in ages last week and the Wolves player who got Onana booked was thumping the ground in agony but in the replay was clearly not even touched. It wasn’t just in our game - every game had several players who writhed in agony at the merest touch until they “bought” the free kick then got up and scorched down the wing like a fully fit Linford Christie. It’s shameless cheating and it needs calling out! After our league game against Palace Roy Hodgson defended Eze as not “that sort of player” but lo and behold he was at it again on Thursday. He seems to have educated that gobshite Clyne in the same “art”, the Cnut!
Someone on here recently defended Rugby players as maybe not as skilled as footballers but 100% more man. It obviously doesn’t apply to all footballers but it’s bloody true. A rugby player would just tell Clyne to “get the fcuk up you pussy”
I remember when the Aussie league side were watching United v Arsenal and there was a “melee” - the Aussies thought it was hilarious and described it as a “cat fight with handbags”.
It’s time the divers were shamed on Tv and the pundits should give them hell, not excuse their ridiculous antics.
Anthony Flack
38 Posted 06/01/2024 at 10:34:46
Not sure it’s been described in this way previously but for me the only player moving at pace, with force or without control was Clyne

He ran into DCLs foot and as everyone has said receiving a minor glancing contact

Plain and simple cheats

Inadequate referee

Shit process

Mark Murphy
39 Posted 06/01/2024 at 12:50:32
Just watching the Sunderland v skunks game and I’ve already seen three tackles that would be red carded using the same logic shown to the DCL tackle.
Martin Farrington
40 Posted 06/01/2024 at 13:18:26
Anthony @ 38.

Bang on. Yes he was / did. He arrived late and after Calvert-Lewin had the ball.

If this was anything other than the huge cash cow it is, those players and the manager of Palace would be serving bans. Pawson would have been jettisoned dishonourably and Kavanagh sweeping leaves in a park.

Paul Birmingham
41 Posted 06/01/2024 at 14:11:35
Made up Everton are appealing Calvert-Lewin's red card.

The whole concept of the referee making descisions in Premier League matches has long been lost and cack-house referees like Pawson and the lacklustre and gutless PGMOL will see the game go into further decline.

Good that the Everton Fans Forum are challenging the PGMOL, but surely now is the time to trial what they do in both Rugby codes in their use of the VAR and descision making?

Hoping for Sunderland to stick a couple up the Skunks but they've as good as given this game away.

Hopefully Dwight McNeil's injury will not be as serious as first thought.


Rob Halligan
42 Posted 06/01/2024 at 18:21:16
The Everton Fans Forum (is that the Fans Advisory Board?) have sent a letter to Howard Webb the chief of the PGMOL, asking for explanations, and also the VAR audios of some of the decisions going against us this season.

Everton Fans Forum letter written to Howard Webb

Wonder if they will get a reply?……

Jonathan Oppenheimer
43 Posted 06/01/2024 at 18:38:05
Kieran and others, I understand the calls for independence and hopefully less bias, but what does that mean in reality?

People have to understand not only how incredibly difficult being a referee is, but also there's no logical way to make referees independent from VARs or PMGOL independent from Premier League, or non-refs overseeing referees. And it would be helpful for fans to understand the actual thinking that goes into decisions.

So Kieran, to your question about Sterling and Salah, etc. getting more calls. At any level where there are more than a couple hundred fans, good referees are watching tape, talking to other refs, looking at who gets fouled the most, the history of two teams playing each other. So, rightly or wrongly, they go into any match with information that helps them referee the match.

It's helpful for me to know, if I'm doing a semi-pro or college match, who the best midfielder is on each team, because you better believe the opposing coach is telling his players to annoy and foul that player to get him off his game. Or if a particular coach is an asshole, referees will talk beforehand, not so they can be actively biased towards them, but so their bitching doesn't get out of control.

But then of course we're human and we have natural biases, so referees are going to feel more pressure when doing a big 6 match, be subconsciously favorable or unfavorable to the cheating diving players or the asshole coach — or whatever biases develop when we have prior information to go on.

As for oversight, people have to understand that the elite referees, even if you think they're crap, come up together and train together and know each other well, all in a very tight circle. That helps them perform well, and it means they can talk and criticize and such more easily than if they didn't know each other at all.

You couldn't just bring in foreign oversight or find people who understand the vast nuances of refereeing who aren't already part of that inner circle. Which all means that there is a horrible amount of internal politics that is incredibly detrimental to refereeing, but pretty inevitable and unavoidable.

Before VAR and worldwide audiences and slo-motion replay and players acting like they've been shot at every turn, there was certainly lots of bad officiating, but we just didn't talk about it incessantly. So I agree that we need to punish the divers, have more transparency about decisions, work towards more consistency, and many other good suggestions out there.

But fans need to remember that every pro sport in every country thinks that referees are shit. It's a thankless job where you're only in the spotlight when you fuck up, making often subjective calls, doing it for very little money at the top level — but total shit money in the years prior when you never see family or can work a real job trying to make it to the top — and it's really fucking hard, especially as the game has gotten faster and faster.

My point is, we should seek more consistency, but I promise fans will never be happy unless they accept that 95% of calls are right, but a few will always be wrong or questionable, and sometimes those will be match-altering decisions.

Jerome Shields
44 Posted 06/01/2024 at 18:50:20
I had a look at the incident again. Calvert-Lewin had his studs up and did make contact.

I don't think there is any chance of the red card being rescinded.

Simon Harrison
45 Posted 06/01/2024 at 18:53:27
Jonathan [43] Good evening and thanks for your erudite views that you posted there and at [29]. I'm going to avoid going through your posts directly, and just cut to the chase.

In your opinion, and having a completely clean sheet to work from, what would your ideal solution be with regards to officiating the 'Modern' game (sic!) of football?

More refs, something like Basketball, one leading and one trailing?
Four assistant referees?
More technology… less?
Removal of some laws, amendment of others?
Introduction of new ones?
Overhead camera views for reviews? (Like Rugby and more in your area of knowledge, Gridiron?)
Reviews (decision challenges) for managers?
A Captain's challenge?
Referee's being able to stop the game and ask for a review?

The floor is yours, Jonathan, my friend.

Dave Abrahams
46 Posted 06/01/2024 at 18:59:24
Jonathon (43),

Yes, it's fine if fans can try and understand how hard it is for referees to work their way up the ladder and get to the very top of refereeing in the Premier League.

A lot of us fans can sympathise with referees having to cope with the high percentage of players who cheat in every game, moan at every decision and harass, with three or four teammates, the referees over a perceived error.

The referees I have a personal dislike of are the ones who make a decision but never engage with players who try and have a quiet dialogue with ref over his decision – they just walk away with a blank face, just not interested in listening to players who are making an honest quiet question over the award of a foul against them.

There are a few who operate like this – none more so than David Coote who, besides being not very good, has an arrogance about him which he has no right to have. The man just will not listen, just seems to think he is always right. Nobody is always right – it's impossible.

Simon Harrison
47 Posted 06/01/2024 at 19:11:11
I'll echo that, Dave A,

It needs sorting out before the game degenerates into just a stop-start sequence of decision-review-reverse, players diving, cheating and trying to use 'power tactics' (in old money, gamesmanship!) to get decisions to go their way. After all, it's meant to be a sport — not a flippin' courtroom drama!

One thing I'd love to see is the introduction of the rule, that only the Captain can speak to the ref. If any other player approaches the ref, in any 'disrespectful' way, walk the foul forward 10 m, à la Rugby, and if they persist or protest, card them, yellow first, disagreement or dissent again, send them off!

Though yes, allow a player to respectfully ask a question like, "What did I do wrong?" Else that just creates an 'Us vs them' situation! In my opinion anyway.

That could possibly, for instance, stop the Man City players' behaviour at Goodison re the Onana incident, and when the FA charged their players for bringing the game into disrepute for surrounding the ref in their Premier League game — Was that against Villa?

Peter Mills
48 Posted 06/01/2024 at 19:32:44
There are some very interesting posts on here – thank you.

Cutting to the chase, I was at Marine v Hyde Utd this afternoon. There were a couple of decent penalty shouts for the home team, which left us a bit frustrated.

But, you know what? It was an enjoyable experience to watch the game as it should be, judged by one person, right or wrong.

Lee Howard
49 Posted 06/01/2024 at 20:04:50
Does anyone know the reason they won't mic the ref and let everyone hear what's happening, like Rugby?

Is it as simple as they are protecting chaos that is the VAR.
Rugby has no arguing, surrounding the ref, etc and it's pretty clear the ref is in charge.

Christine Foster
50 Posted 06/01/2024 at 20:12:27
Prior to the VAR, pundits for many years believed the way to improve officiating would be the introduction of technology. It was believed that its introduction would be a tool for the referee to use in moments where verification was required. After all, technology has been successfully employed in cricket, rugby, tennis etc without the upheaval or conflict football has.

The critical differences between this and other sports is that rules have been changed to suit the technology: offside, handball, goal checks and foul play. Contact is deemed dangerous, tackles are treated as assaults, play allowed to continue to see what happens etc.

The changes to some of the rules and the reinterpretation of others has been difficult initself, but when you layer it with the very thing you are trying to remove, refereeing subjectivity, with the introduction of another referee's interpretation, then you have chaos.

It's not the technology that's bad, it's the subjective use of an objective tool.The technology is overused and misinterpreted by opinionated decisions.

A dangerous tackle to one referee is not to another – no matter how good or bad the technology is. Decisions on when technology can or should be used in a game is a grey area leaving players, managers, and fans seething with injustice at the lack of consistency or application.

The game has changed to the point where the VAR is not assisting the referee, it is destroying the very reason it exists – the fans enjoyment of the sport.

Leave the decision-making to the referee on the pitch, let him or her call on technology in cases of doubt. Stop changing the rules of the game to make it easier for technology whilst introducing an offsite referee to interpet its use. Subjectivity is someone else's opinion.

The VAR needs removal and review of use. It is a match officials' tool, used selectively when required or not, its control held with the on-field referee.

Lastly, players and coaches aren't stupid. They are learning what they can get away with, but once again they can only do so because any contact can be determined as a foul, and is subjectively given.

The pursuit of a high skilled, fast-flowing, purists' game has a couple of big spanners: incompetent officials and players who cheat.
They cheat because they can and do get away with it.
Technology in itself isn't the problem, its problem is application and interpretation. The balance between when it's used and who applies is wrong.

Peter Mills
51 Posted 06/01/2024 at 20:19:36
Christine #50 - thank you.

That's what I was kind of trying to say, but couldn't!

Barry Hesketh
52 Posted 06/01/2024 at 20:23:49
Funnily enough, I recently saw a link to MotD from 19 years ago, before goal-line technology became the norm, and both Schmeichel and Hansen warned that adding more technology other than goal-line cameras would result in 'carnage'; how right they were.
Shane Corcoran
53 Posted 06/01/2024 at 20:24:47
I haven't read the thread but how could this or any other appeal work?

How can 2/3 refs with the benefit of video evidence be judged to be wrong?

Barry Hesketh
54 Posted 06/01/2024 at 20:29:45
Shane @53,

I don't know how they come to a decision in the appeal process, but Son got his red overturned for his tackle on Gomes at Goodison, but on what grounds they did that, I'm not sure.

Perhaps it was because he wasn't 'that sort of player' which could be used as a defence for Calvert-Lewin because I believe that's his first ever red-card at least during his Everton career, and possibly during his professional career.

Jay Evans
55 Posted 06/01/2024 at 21:05:56
Rob 36,

This week's Ref Watch probably won't even give Michael Stipe the opportunity to defend his mates like he normally does…

Sky aren't interested in the FA Cup as they don't have the rights to show the games, so expect Dominic's dismissal to be brushed completely and utterly under their corrupt carpet.

Peter Mills
56 Posted 06/01/2024 at 21:15:18
Barry #54,

Or perhaps because that player's image is worth hundreds of millions of pounds, and the media management machinery clicked into gear before Son even reached the dressing room?

Martin Farrington
57 Posted 06/01/2024 at 21:31:45
Christine @50. Excellent.

The concept of man vs machine. Opinion is subjective and that is precisely why there will never be consistency.

It is a flawed thesis to attempt to micromanage further, by defining each separate mechanism of a specific offence and expect consistency. That just leads to greater debate and widen the gap you are trying to close. To generically dehumanise and have all subjective decisions become consistent is an impossibility.

Other sports have no problem with technology. Maybe the people at the helm in this one are the reason it is failing.

I have always held that referees are like politicians. The desire to be one should bar you from ever becoming one. (Billy Connolly)

As Christine and others say, the VAR has become the referee, which is not within its remit or jurisdiction. It should be independent. Not run by those refereeing matches. Nor working alongside or socialising with them.

Like the law, the VAR is not something unique that only a serving appointed expert can be. The same applies for the rules of football. An independent body that is qualified in the rules and laws of the game can just as easily apply them as the VAR.

There are many nuances that referees will share and have to be aware of for each game. Of course. Certain managers will have players pulling every stroke in the book to gain an advantage.

During the match, the referee should exercise their professional training to ensure fair play by the rules.
The VAR is there to be called upon. Not relied upon. To review a penalty given or a red card. Clear offside, not those that take several minutes or more drawing lines and making the whole decision an international affair. If you can't tell within 10 seconds, then it isn't offside.

The VAR is now intervening where it was never intended to. Refereeing is subjective. Keep it that way. But remove referees from refereeing referees.

Paul Greenly Jones
58 Posted 06/01/2024 at 21:49:45
To be succinct: the referee on-field brigade won't dare go against a VAR recommendation! They're all on the Premier League ‘gravy train'.
Jonathan Oppenheimer
59 Posted 06/01/2024 at 21:55:21
Simon @45, thanks for the challenge.

To give you a truly thoughtful response, I'd have to take a while to think through things more thoroughly, but I'll give it a go.

One of the biggest issues is that much of the proposals we're discussing are only relevant to the highest levels, where there's enough money to consider more referees, more technology, and so on. So I'll get there, but let's start with referee development.

I don't know how things are done in the UK, but I'd bet that, generally speaking, similarly to here in The States, referee development is massively deficient for a number of reasons.

We don't allocate enough money to assessing and mentoring young referees; we've improved but largely failed to protect up-and-coming referees from vile abuse at every level, much of which drives aspiring referees out of the sport; and once a youngish referee is identified as having potential, we pay them paltry sums to dedicate years of their lives towards a minuscule shot at making the pros.

So we have to accept that, whatever you think of the pool of Premier League referees, they're largely the best we've got given the development program we have. Massive sums would need to be invested to improve the referee pool and support referees along the way.

But to where we are now. I'm not opposed to the idea of adding a second on-field referee, but it would be difficult to implement if you've spent all your formative years in a 3-man system. I don't see that as the main problem. So let's keep the number of referees the same.

Obviously review technology exists to get offsides calls and ball-over-the-end-line mostly correct, and we've made the adjustment to require there is more than just a toenail counting as offside.

That technology is here to stay and we have to accept that it's 99% effective. Once it's all semi-automated offsides, we'll be in even better shape.

One thing I'd add is that referees at the top, and I'd include probably the top 2 to 4 divisions in most countries, do an incredibly good job at getting offside calls correct even without the VAR, given offside to me is the toughest call any referee makes. Which leads me to another point about the VAR.

I'm obviously not at that level, but it must alter the way one referees. Referees are never eager to give a red card or penalty, so I have to imagine that they're more likely to err on the side of not giving a penalty or red card if they have the VAR to back them up.

But that leads to I'd imagine the VAR feeling more responsibility to “re-referee” the match, which is where we get into the crux of the big problems with big decisions. Some on-field referees will be under-refereeing and counting on the VAR and others will be refereeing as normal, not wanting or needing as much help.

What else would I would like to see happen?

● Premier League managers and players sitting down and voting on and discussing the 50 or 100 most controversial decisions over the past few seasons and how they'd like them called. We may or may not be surprised by how much agreement there is, but it would inform the referees what standards they'd like on handballs and penalties and such.

● I'd like them to fine and/or suspend blatant diving. They screwed up picking Niasse as the first one, because it was a joke, but the idea was a good one.

● The rules are actually moving in the right direction, as frustrating as it is. The laws of the game are allowing for more discretion with natural hand movement not being a hand-ball, and referees are allowing for more contact from a defender in the middle of the field when a player with back to goal falls over.

I generally favor these changes, especially with handball. In my mind, it has to be blatant for a penalty (eg: Keane against Liverpool has to be called). One can argue that we should stop giving penalties in the area unless it's a clear goal-scoring opportunity, but I'm a purist and favor a penalty being a penalty.

● To the consistency question, let's just be absolutely clear about certain things, like if you pull a shirt in the box, it's a penalty. If you complain or raise your arms to the ref, it's a yellow. No ifs, ands or buts. Then we're not questioning why it's a penalty one week and not the next.

● The two radical calls for change I like that could be implemented in certain cases very soon: the 10-minute sin-bin for certain fouls, especially if expanded beyond current proposed guidelines (for surrounding referees and stopping promising attacks) and also forcing players to sit out several minutes if they require attention, so they can't just roll around on the field. With the sin-bin proposal, it could mean you could give it to Calvert-Lewin and he's out for 10 minutes, not the match. (I still think it was just a yellow at most, but at least we would not be arguing about a 3-game suspension.)

I've heard the call for coach or team challenges, but I'm not sure how this changes the subjective nature of the call. In the most recent case, it at least means Kavanagh makes the final call without Pawson in his ear if he challenges the call. It does mean there are possibly fewer reviews, but if we assume there are almost never more than 2-3 big VAR calls/match, we can assume those same calls would just be challenged and we'd be back where we started.

For what it's worth, the calls that have made me most upset in recent seasons, in no particular order:

No red cards against Ayew and Shelvey;
The red card against Allan against Newcastle;
The foul against Tarkowski that nullified the Keane goal;
The lack of a second yellow to Konate;
The Martial penalty committed by Young;
And the two big calls/non-calls this past week.

The calls I was okay with:

The Gomes foul that nullified Calvert-Lewin's goal, which to me was a clear foul;
The Onana handball, only because I think 95% of referees in real time or with review would call it, based on how we're told to referee; and
The non-call on the shirt tug on Onana, only because we'd gotten away with the one against Doucoure, which was worse.

(To my point above, they should be more consistent in saying they're all penalties if you clearly pull a shirt, to take away the subjective nature of deciding whether the shirt tug affected the player's ability to make a play on the ball.)

The above is by no means exhaustive. The biggest issue remains that “clear and obvious” is not being applied properly, and that every referee views these challenges differently.

Despite my saying I think VAR-only referees may not be likely, I hope it happens, because then those referees could work together to ensure they're as consistent as possible week to week, and there's less question of the VAR bias if they're never on the field dealing with players and refs — which of course opens them up to the criticism of not being able to properly officiate from Stockley Park. But with all these questions, we're looking for the least bad solution.

Unfortunately the way things are, the VAR is sucking the fun out of the game. To think that if we could go back and have never used it except for the most egregious errors and/or offsides and goals only, most people would.

Hope my two cents is helpful.

Jerome Shields
60 Posted 06/01/2024 at 23:11:13
I had another look at the incident. I don't think the red card will be rescinded.

It is a challenge with studs showing that did make contact.

Jerome Shields
61 Posted 06/01/2024 at 23:46:27
The clubs seem happy enough with the current system, working with it and following the procedures of redress.

Of course it could be argued that top six teams don't get as many bad decisions, but then generally their play and application is better. That is why they are near the top of the table.

Everton, when they do win, it is by fine margins. Therefore refereeing decisions can have an impact. If everyone's finishing was better, it would solve most of the problems because the decisions would not have as much of an impact.

Si Cooper
62 Posted 07/01/2024 at 00:50:48
The downgrading of Son's red card must surely be Exhibit A for the appeal against this one. That was a deliberate hack to trip the player and, therefore, carried the risk of injury simply from the fouled player tumbling to the ground.

Simple question for the panel: Is studs exposed and some level of contact sufficient for a straight red?

DCL didn't have his knee locked as he was merely attempting to get his leg over the ball and trap it. His right leg / foot may have been off the ground but the other leg and his pelvis were flat on the ground. You can translate that situation to every occasion a grounded player tries to play the ball.

Intent surely has to be taken into account. Pawson and Kavanagh may not be able to discern between trying to trap the ball with your lower leg and using your raised foot as a battering ram in a reckless tackle (which is what the rule is trying to take out of the game) but surely the appeal panel will have some footballing nous.

If this red card isn't overruled then it will be a clear sign of the closing of ranks to protect incompetent or biased officials.

Still not sure what Sky have to do with this…

Jonathan Oppenheimer
63 Posted 07/01/2024 at 01:32:36
Si, studs exposed and some level of contact does not automatically equal red.

There are a number of considerations taken with any tackle to gauge the level of foul, including if you lunge by leaving your feet, attempt to play the ball, opportunity to play the ball, height of the boots, studs exposed, speed and intensity of the tackle (a big one).

If studs are exposed and you catch the opponent on the foot, it's considered much less severe. If they choose not to rescind it, they'll say that, even though there's barely any contact, that by nature of studs exposed at that height and with moderate speed, it endangered Clyne's safety.

The biggest thing for me is that it's a fair attempt to play the ball and did not have the speed or intensity to warrant a red. But, as many have noted, it's all subjective, and they'll have an out if they want one.

Kieran Kinsella
64 Posted 07/01/2024 at 03:21:11
Ironically, I was just reminded by Sky that one of only a handful of occasions when a ref has stuck to his guns involved Kavanagh and Calvert-Lewin vs Liverpool.

Kavanagh awarded a penalty for Everton, the VAR intervened suggesting it was a dive, Kavanagh dismissed it and upheld the penalty; we scored and won 2-0 at Anfield.

Derek Knox
65 Posted 07/01/2024 at 07:25:12
Kieran, you had me scratching my head then (them bloody splinters) invoking scepticism. So of course I checked and yes, it was November 2021 during Covid. When no crowds were allowed, probably why I was dubious in the first place.

So does that raise another question? We were (were we?) better on the day? Or, without our fans; does a packed Anfield influence the referee's decisions?

Wish we still had Richarlison, James Rodriguez – an expensive genius who was unlikely to stay once Carlo the Traitor jumped ship. As for Sigurdsson, I am still trying to unravel that conundrum!

David Cooper
66 Posted 07/01/2024 at 2024/01/07 : 10:18:06

With no Everton games to worry about this weekend, I had time to think about how much practical experience, understanding, and appreciation Premier League referees have of football?

Yes, they may know every rule backwards, they may have passed written exams and even passed practical game-playing situations, but they don’t know very much about the professional game played by elite footballers. I am convinced this is the major reason why they make at least one game-changing appalling decision per match.

Talk to any referee at any level and they will tell you that they have watched enough games, attended numerous FA refereeing courses etc, and may have played football at school right up to 1st XI high school level to be qualified enough to referee.

I think this attitude is so self-serving to reflect the psychological mentality of wanting to be in control and make decisions that make them feel better than players. So friggin' arrogant! 

My background of refereeing was that of being a PE teacher who passed a football rules exam at college but played county-level football and good-quality amateur football. I never worried about if I was good enough to ref any high-quality 1st XI games, county level or Saturday afternoon adult games when the appointed ref didn’t turn up. I just knew the game!

The other sports I have played and refereed to a high level are cricket, squash, rugby and field hockey – even though my experience of playing rugby and field hockey was limited. When I watch rugby refs, I always get the feeling that they have played the game in their youth before becoming refs. In cricket, all umpires are former highly respected players and they still make mistakes.

But if either Coote or Pawson had any playing experience, they could have seen what Calvert-Lewin did, how Clyne managed to miss the boot but roll around, they would have understood how difficult it is to slide into a front-on tackle with the leading foot in a vertical position or studs up.

Going in from the side, it is mechanically easier to turn the foot so it is more horizontal which is what we see every match. But, by slowing the play down and freezing that one frame, Calvert-Lewin's studs are up and – by written letter of the law at that exact moment in time – he is guilty. 

But it is impossible to play football or any game, freeze it at the moment of impact and show foul play in most cases. High tackles in rugby and NFL being exceptions. So the whole act of tackling must be considered and this is where referees with no playing experience are lacking in ability to judge the tackle.

Will Calvert-Lewin’s punishment be rescinded? I read somewhere that the appeals committee is made up of former professional footballers. Or maybe I was dreaming! But why does the FA continue this flawed process and not require future referees to have played a certain agreed level of football before giving them the “Badge”?

Kevin O'Regan
67 Posted 07/01/2024 at 11:01:42
I asked my son who is currently a referee (not an ex-referee) to have a look and he said that anything above the ankle with any contact is a red. Now, that's the rule – and if that's the case then red was correct.

That's the sober cold take on this – away from the emotional discussion around consistency, the VAR, couch-referees, corruption etc. The rule is crap, yes – same as the handball rules – but a ref who enforces the rules is only doing his/her job.

So, the rules need to change – the VAR needs major surgery, refs, players and managers (and commentators too) need training on what is the current rule – so that the endless discussions and theatrics and inconsistencies end.

I played for a number of years, even refereed a few games, but I would not for the life of me compare today's game with what I understood to be decent football tackles of the '80s. The game has changed, the rules have changed, and no amount of anger will bring it back.

We need expertise and representation from all sides to come together to consult on this awful state of the game and get back to some flow, some level of honest football with contact and allow the game to be enjoyable again. And, yes protect refs. too.

But the fact is the rules say, that was a red. Not our favourite colour by any means.

Stephen Williams
68 Posted 07/01/2024 at 11:02:04

I've long held the belief that Kavanagh wasn't checking the award of the penalty but was actually checking if Alexander-Arnold's challenge was worthy of a red card (denial of a goal scoring opportunity without ability to actually win the ball), which he didn't think was.

It seems to me that Sky are trying to rewrite history to make the ref look better and therefore Calvert-Lewin's red card more justifiable.

Dave Abrahams
69 Posted 07/01/2024 at 11:38:45
Kevin (67),

If what your son says is correct then why doesn't every professional referee use that rule? It is back to lack of consistency by these referees.

You might agree that Dominic's tackle was very mild but he got a red card where other tackles, in other games or even the same game, much worse, don't even get a yellow or even a foul: which in Dominic's case the referee, on the field didn't even blow up for.

I hope this is taken into consideration at Dominic's appeal.

John Keating
70 Posted 07/01/2024 at 11:42:34
Let's be honest: footy as most of us know it has finished. The stuff we watched in the '50s and '60s was far better than today.

If a sending-off was given then, at least you knew the guy fouled would be sidelined for the rest of the season. Bloody Clyne got up as soon as the VAR got involved.

Andy Crooks
71 Posted 07/01/2024 at 13:30:30
Does anyone recall the old footie magazine Shoot?

Each week, there was a section called "You are the ref". It gave some, what seemed then complicated or unlikely scenarios and the reader gave their verdict. It was enlightening and interesting.

Where in God's name would any football magazine today begin to start? It is insanity and will be the end of football if it is not reformed.

Eric Myles
72 Posted 07/01/2024 at 13:48:23
David #67, you talk a lot of sense.

I've always said that the referees shouldn't be allowed to mark their own homework in the VAR cubicle, it should be at least two ex-players and one ex-referee.

We're subject to the incompetent referees off the field passing judgement on the incompetent referees on the field.

Paul Turner
73 Posted 07/01/2024 at 14:00:27
Eric, while I agree broadly with your suggestion, the sheer number of former Liverpool players already connected to media, Premier League, FA etc might well mean Everton would never benefit from a VAR decision!

[Only slightly tongue-in-cheek...]

Jonathan Oppenheimer
74 Posted 07/01/2024 at 16:30:46
David 66,

It would be great if you could find enough referees who have played at a fairly high level, but it's just not feasible as things stand. Most referees start as teenagers when they're not good enough to play, they get identified and nurtured, and they get set on the path upwards.

In my region in Minnesota, of the top 25 refs in the state, of which I'm one, I played at the highest level, which was not that high, basically high men's amateur. High-level players simply don't seem interested in becoming referees, as I've never seen it happen in 14 years.

Certainly the referee association could actively recruit players, but for measly pay, I just don't see it happening. I understand the desire to want referees who have played, but I'd be shocked if we ever see it in substantial numbers in our lifetime.

Kevin @67,

I'm guessing your son would have said something more than just any contact above ankle is a red. That's simply not the case.

As I laid out in post 63, there are factors to be taken into account to judge whether a foul is careless (no card), reckless (yellow), or excessive force (red).

Otherwise, we wouldn't be so angry that this was a red, because tackles above the ankle happen all the time and aren't given reds — the Van Dijk foul on Onana comes to mind for me.

Pete Jeffries
75 Posted 07/01/2024 at 18:30:21
I just don't see how someone in a remote studio miles away from the ground can appreciate the rainy conditions on a sodden pitch in considering the Calvert-Lewin sliding challenge on Clyne.

It's all a bit AI.

Andy McNabb
76 Posted 07/01/2024 at 20:34:56
Andy #71,

I loved Shoot and was always keen to have a go at ‘You are the ref'. Would cycle down to Finaghy Crossroads to the newsagent for each issue. Happy days.

Quite possibly ‘You are the ref' would take up most of each edition these days and end with: ‘Well, we aren't really sure…'

Andrew McLawrence
77 Posted 07/01/2024 at 20:45:44
Andy #76,

I found myself getting nostalgic the other day talking about the Ireland Saturday Night newspaper which hit the corner shops on a Saturday evening and had all the results. Simple times!

Brian Wilkinson
78 Posted 07/01/2024 at 21:03:06
Can I just remind everyone, the last time we appealed, we got an apology from Mike Riley, for the Rodri handball, followed by our next three league games ending in three sending-offs for us:

Jonjoe Kenny v Wolves,
Allan v Newcastle, and
Michael Keane v West Ham.

We might very well get an apology, but they will make damn sure the following games we will get our just deserts for making them have to apologise.

John Keating
79 Posted 07/01/2024 at 21:24:01
If the red card is rescinded, and that's a big if, does it not follow that the match officials, including Pawson, should be benched if not banned for being totally incompetent?

Remember when the club complained about that fuckwit Clattenburg and he never went to Goodison for a few years. We should show some balls, name and shame.

Pity we've been docked points because, if not, Dyche should just walk the players off. Take the hit but hopefully bring this corrupt stuff out in the open.

Tom Bowers
80 Posted 07/01/2024 at 22:21:36
You know the red card is unlikely to be rescinded. It's Everton for Gawd's sake.

However, I don't think referees' abilities can be any more flawed than they have been this season, even with the help of the VAR which is also becoming useless.

Everton just don't command the respect of many Premier League clubs. They are just not wealthy enough – and won't be unless they too can get Saudi or US backing.

Andy Crooks
81 Posted 07/01/2024 at 22:46:58
Andy, I got mine at Donaghy's at Finaghy Crossroads
Si Cooper
82 Posted 08/01/2024 at 01:06:11
Jonathan (63),

Yes, that's the answer I'd expect which is why I am enraged by the decision on Thursday and why it would be my first question to the appeals panel. But then Kevin's son appears to have a radically different take on the situation.

The incident was shown in the very limited highlights on MotD on Saturday and mentioned in the accompanying commentary, but the guys in the studio didn't talk about the game at all. BBC staying strictly neutral for once?

Derek Thomas
83 Posted 08/01/2024 at 07:07:27
Kevin @ 67; all true and right, but at the same time – wrong.

True and right to the letter of the law... but not in the spirit of the law, which seems to have disappeared along with 'Ball to Hand'.

After reading Jonathan's careless vs reckless, I think it lies somewhere in between.

I also think, if we get 5 points suspended and Calvert-Lewin gets away with 1 game ban, we can count ourselves lucky in the extreme, while holding our breath waiting for them to find another way to fuck us about... which they will.

Ian Jones
84 Posted 08/01/2024 at 07:16:41
Si, just a quick one. The Calvert-Lewin incident had been covered earlier that day on Football Focus. Think the general consensus was ridiculous decision.

Paul @ 73. Re the ex-Liverpool players in the media. I don't have an issue with that. Some of them do make sense.

There are quite a few Everton players aso represented in the media.

Mark Murphy
85 Posted 08/01/2024 at 08:25:08
“Careless vs reckless”

It was neither of those – it was controlled and won the ball fairly.

If we have arrived at the stage when any slight contact after the ball results in even a free kick, then it's time to just make the game a non-contact sport and play in empty stadiums. It's gone to shite.

Eric Myles
86 Posted 08/01/2024 at 08:39:40
Interesting point made by a Newcastle fan I was drinking with yesterday.

There was no VAR in their FA Cup game against Sunderland.

So why have two different sets of rules in the same competition?

Ray Roche
87 Posted 08/01/2024 at 08:56:07
If Clyne hadn't cheated and feigned injury, if he'd just got up and got on with the game, it wouldn't have been called back by the idiot Pawson.
Kevin O'Regan
88 Posted 08/01/2024 at 09:28:30
Johnathan - appreciate your insights here - and yes, my lad tends to be a bit black and white while learning his trade.

But still, after reading the actual rules of the IFAB, it states: "Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force or endangers the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play."

There's no mention here of contact which means that the lunge in itself without contact could be a red if done with enough force.

Absolutely agreed that this is again a subjective decision on what that may be – and killing the game if things continue to go this way. But let's make sure we understand the rules first before any individual is verbally abused.

The rules need changing. But we also need to allow for mistakes since it is a sport played by and reffed by humans – and no amount of technology will ever be able to replace that element.

Allow the game to flow, allow decent tackles, don't have players cut their arms off to avoid a handball, cut out the diving crap, and yes, train the referees better.

But also we as fans need to allow for wrong decisions... that was always the way and part of the game – same as emotions. Otherwise, we might as well just spend our time on the PlayStation in a spaced-out fantasy world.

Mark Murphy
89 Posted 08/01/2024 at 09:31:50
Eric, only 19 grounds have VAR facilities - all are Premier League and are the 19 that were in the Premier League when it was instigated.

If Newcastle had been the home team, that fixture would have had a VAR. It's ridiculous and unfair.

Rob Halligan
90 Posted 08/01/2024 at 09:45:44
Well here's something I never knew. Premier League clubs have to pay for the privilege of being screwed over by the VAR. This is probably the reason why it's not used at stadiums outside of the Premier League.

What is the cost of VAR in the UK?

£1.2m a year

The cost of using VAR will be covered by all Premier League clubs and is reported to be within the region of £1.2m a year. A sum of money like this per year is simply too much for many clubs in the lower tiers of English and Scottish football. 24 Jan 2023

Mark Ryan
91 Posted 08/01/2024 at 21:05:44
It took 2 days to overturn Mac Allister's red card, what on earth is occurring?
Shane Corcoran
92 Posted 09/01/2024 at 16:02:40
Appeal won. Typical favouring the big clubs 😀
Rob Halligan
93 Posted 09/01/2024 at 16:42:04
I see will be no VAR at tonight's Middlesbrough v Chelsea Carabao Cup semi-final because the system has, or cannot, be set up at the Riverside Stadium. It will therefore not be used at Stamford Bridge for the second leg.

For fuck's sake, can the VAR not get anything right?

Bill Fairfield
94 Posted 09/01/2024 at 16:52:39
£1.2 million for VAR. It should definitely go. Give the money to a worthy cause.

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