The Premier League has had an issue with VAR since its implementation in 2019. While it was supposed to make things easier for everyone, VAR has instead become overly complicated with calls still being missed, referees rarely going to the monitor themselves, and offside calls being judged based on CSI-like forensics that cannot possibly be determined by the naked eye. As the above image shows.
One thing fans have wanted is to be able to listen to communication between the center referee and the VAR official when they’re in discussion over a potentially incorrect call. While other leagues have done this, the Premier League hasn’t. But in a move to increase transparency, the Premier League is set to somewhat give the fans what they want.
According to The Times, the Premier League will provide “recordings of conversations between referees and VARs,” the only catch is that those recordings will be made available after the match in question.
While the Premier League sees this as a means to provide transparency on controversial referee calls, it’s not going to satisfy a good portion of the fanbase. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if someone suspects the Premier League or a referee of favoring certain teams, they’re going to also believe that the Premier League would alter the recording of the officials before the clip is released to the public. I don’t personally believe that will happen but I also know that many others will.
With that in mind, the Premier League’s attempt at transparency is inspired but isn’t actually going to do much unless they make those conversations available live during matches. Otherwise, it’ll just be one more complicated thing on top of a complicated system that was supposed to make things easier.