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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

VAR Approved by SPFL Annual Meeting

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SPFL clubs have voted at their General Meeting today to approve the introduction of VAR technology at cinch Premiership matches next season.

The vote means that VAR 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.

Neil Doncaster, chief executive of the SPFL, said:

“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.”

Total costs for the introduction of VAR in the cinch Premiership are anticipated to be around £1.2m per season, following an independent financial review of the costs and a benchmarking exercise carried out by the European Leagues.

The General Meeting also approved a resolution that payment for the cost of introducing and running the VAR system would be met by cinch Premiership clubs in the same proportions as the current formula which makes fee payments in line with end-of-season league positions.

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

The introduction of VAR after the World Cup 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.

Neil Doncaster said:

“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.

“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, said:

“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.

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