All 12 Premiership clubs in VAR vote yes as revolution on its way ahead of key decision

SPFL clubs are expected to back VAR in a decisive vote and pave the way for video assistant referees in Scottish football.

All 12 Premiership managers are on record supporting the introduction of the technology which, if given the green light today, could be used in Scotland for the first time in December following the break for the World Cup Final.

Their backing for the system could still be vetoed by clubs in the lower three divisions – even though it’s only to be used in the top tier.

But RecordSport understands that Premiership clubs are quietly optimistic the resolution will pass Tuesday’s landmark vote at an 11am SPFL general meeting.

For VAR to get the green light it requires 75 per cent of the Premiership, 75 per cent of the Championship and also three-quarters of League One and Two combined to vote in favour.

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That equates to nine top tier sides, eight Championship clubs and 15 teams from the bottom two tiers.

All 42 clubs are primed to go to the polls after being briefed on the VAR system which will see a minimum of six manned cameras at each top flight game to aid a selection of video assistant referees who are all current or recently retired Category 1 officials.

Training in the technology for referees has been carried out by the SFA.

But the bill for implementing VAR across 12 top flight stadiums – estimated at close to £120,000 per ground – will be picked up by the clubs themselves on a sliding scale.

The champions, it is expected, will fork out roughly 16 per cent of the cost and those in the bottom end of the table between five and six per cent.

Top flight bosses have continually called for video assistants to be introduced in the Premiership.

Hearts boss Robbie Neilson, speaking ahead of an experiment at his club earlier this month, said: “I’d love it to happen. I think we need to do it to step forward.”

And his Hibs counterpart Shaun Maloney warned in December: “We have to catch up with other leagues around Europe so the quicker we get VAR the better.

“I have seen it, not only at international level but in other places, not just the top five leagues, and my personal preference is that it helps the referees so should happen.”

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou claimed in January the technology was required to cut down the number of wild challenges. He said: “Most countries have VAR now and those kind of things don’t escape punishment anymore.

“That’s the right way to go about it. If you have VAR, what you see is less and less of them. Here in Scotland we obviously don’t have VAR.”

And Rangers boss Gio van Bronckhorst, speaking after a draw with Motherwell in February in which he took issue with one of the Steelmen’s goals after his own team had two goals disallowed for offside, said: “With the build up to the second goal, the player was offside and we scored two goals which were even closer with Morelos.

“You couldn’t see it with your eye and they got that really sharp eye in those moments.

“But when one player is one yard offside they didn’t see it. That is why you need VAR, for these moments to help referees.”

And Dundee United boss Tam Courts was on an explanatory webinar presented by former Premier League referee Howard Webb who implemented VAR in the US. Courts said it was “clear, robust and I can identify with how they want to implement it”.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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