This Premier League season has been some what of a shambles with the implementation of VAR or video assisted refereeing technology. I personally don't think it is the system at fault but more like the people who are managing it and running it. This is big business and we are literally talking about 100's of millions for clubs to stay in the Premiership these days so surely only the elite should be involved in this.
Granted all new things take time to perfect yet somehow common sense disappears at the same time. I have no sympathy for the on field referee as they need to step up to the plate when something is wrong. They are the match official for that game and their job is to make sure the right decisions are reached. Just 3 weeks ago we saw 3 penalty decisions incorrectly called two for and one against which may or may not have changed the outcome of those games.
When they sign the score sheet at the end of the match they need to feel they have done the best possible job for both teams. This has not been the case and we have seen far too many human errors creeping in. Some were errors and others were not wanting to over ride the officials original decision which should not be part of the equation. There is no embarrassment in making the wrong call only for someone to point out your error.
Sports like cricket have hawk eye and we often see umpires having to reverse their original decisions. Things happen in a fraction of a second so human error is expected from even the most experienced officials.
I was reading today that Bournemouth are contemplating lodging an appeal for compensation against the VAR company for an error that has cost them their place in the Premiership next season. I think they have justifiable grounds on incompetence for a decision made in another game that has seen a rival team basically swap places with themselves. One point is all it has cost them but that wrong decision where incompetent people are in charge has cost the club millions of Pounds in lost revenue next year and who knows maybe longer.
The referees are professionals and along with the VAR company who are paid for their services should be held accountable for any discrepancies. It is not like you can go back and replay the match in question and one has to live with whatever the result was.
Going forward there needs to be a monitor at pitch side for the referee of that particular match and no one else in the studio should be able to make the big calls. I think there is a place for the studio referee looking for clear and obvious things like dangerous play. That official though cannot decide or influence the on field referee but this would be more of a pointing out process. The referee would then go to his monitor to watch the incident and decide the outcome.
This is not rocket science and it is about using the tools you have been given to make the right decision. There have been too many incidents this season where the television official has made a ruling which was not correct and thus failed the technology and the players. These individuals have no right to be holding a whistle and making judgement calls. The television official is reportedly paid $1500 per match whilst referees are paid in the region of $70 000 per season. This is where the real problem lies as they need higher salaries to attract the best individuals. You pay peanuts and you get monkeys. Officials are as important as the players as they make the game tick.
I was a sports referee for many years and only stopped my progression up the ladder due to injury and it burns my butt when I see incompetence. I would like to see something done with ex players coming back into the game as an official as they can see what is happening immediately. It is just the way you read and see the game and pick things up that others don't see.
I know in rugby and cricket they have been using technology for some time and the right call is made. The only time it isn't is when you have a third official who is incompetent and there are unfortunately one or two on the rugby side still involved. Just make the right call as that is your job, get it wrong and you could be sued for damages and lost revenue.