Howard Webb 'open to' major VAR change which could impact Newcastle United, Man Utd, Liverpool & more

The proposed VAR changes is designed to try and improve the in-stadium experience for top-flight fans around the country.The proposed VAR changes is designed to try and improve the in-stadium experience for top-flight fans around the country.
The proposed VAR changes is designed to try and improve the in-stadium experience for top-flight fans around the country. | Getty Images
The proposed VAR changes is designed to try and improve the in-stadium experience for top-flight fans around the country

PGMOL chief and former Premier League referee Howard Webb has proposed a major VAR change which could come into effect next season.

Since the introduction of VAR in 2019, one of the main criticisms of enhanced technology has been the impact that it has had on the in-stadium experience, with many fans often complaining about being left in the dark about why a referee has come to a certain conclusion when looking at the pitchside monitor.

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This is an issue that Webb is keen to modify to improve the matchday experience for fans around the country and he discussed an idea for referees to be more open in their communication during the latest edition of Match Officials Mic'd Up, where he appeared alongside ex-Newcastle striker Michael Owen.

Webb said: "It does need improving, doesn’t it? When you hear the clips on shows like this it makes sense what’s happening, it all becomes apparent.

"You'll hear the referee, Andy Madley, having been to the screen saying, "I'm going to speak to Lewis Dunk to explain why the penalty that he feels he should have isn't going to happen because he's fouled [Yoane] Wissa before that. We're looking at ways to improve the in-stadium experience.”

Webb added: "One of the things you'll have seen maybe in FIFA tournaments, like the Women's World Cup, is announcements from the referee once they've been to the screen. So we're looking at that, we're keeping an open mind about whether that's something we could utilise in the Premier League. It would be really useful for the referee to be able to speak to all of the people in the stadium -- [to explain] the rationale."

As it stands, the Premier League is yet to approve the change. However, if the change is approved it could be implemented into grounds across the top-flight as soon as next season.

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