Premier League clubs have overwhelmingly voted in favour of retaining video assistant referees (VAR) for the upcoming season, with a resounding 19-1 majority.

The decision came after Wolves put forward a proposal to discuss the use of VAR in the 2024-25 season, seeking to abolish its presence in the league.

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However, their motion failed to gain support from the other clubs, as only the Wolves themselves voted in favor of their proposal.

The pressure has been mounting on the Premier League to address the concerns surrounding VAR, which was initially introduced in the 2019-20 season.

As a response, the league has announced plans to implement semi-automated offsides during the autumn and will introduce in-game VAR announcements, drawing from the successful implementation during the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

These announcements will allow referees to explain their post-VAR decisions to fans within the stadiums.

Furthermore, the Premier League has stated that the current “high threshold” for VAR officials to intervene in subjective on-field decisions will be maintained.

This decision comes after Wolves highlighted several reasons to support their proposal, including the detrimental impact on goal celebrations, increased hostility towards match officials, and the time-consuming nature of decision-making.

Although Wolves’ motion was ultimately rejected, their goal to initiate a broader discussion on the topic of VAR has been achieved.

It is evident that nobody, including clubs, match officials, or the Premier League, is entirely satisfied with the current state of affairs.

The league aims to enhance transparency, to foster a better understanding of the decision-making process.

Clubs and players, on the other hand, express the desire for more efficient and accurate decisions. The introduction of semi-automated offsides next season is expected to address some of these concerns.

Nonetheless, there is still work to be done to ensure the league does not find itself in a similar predicament in the future. Failure to do so may result in a less decisive outcome in future votes.