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Mark Clattenburg Proposes Five New Ways For Premier League To Improve VAR

Mark Clattenburg Proposes Five New Ways For Premier League To Improve VAR

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has proposed a five-point plan to improve the way in which VAR is currently being used in England's top division.

The general consensus amongst fans is that VAR is not working. Chants of "Fuck VAR" and "It's not football anymore" have been sung at stadiums up and down the league, with "#varout" trending on Twitter after recent decisions.

At the time of writing, over 7,000 people have signed a petition calling for the removal of VAR - with Gary Lineker's poll seeing 71% of people vote against it.

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Clattenburg, who refereed the Champions League and European Championships final in 2016, believes the league should persist with VAR as it's "an evolving project" - but has a number of suggestions on how to make it better with minor tweaks.

For starters, he suggests excluding offsides from VAR given how many marginal decisions have been because of someone's armpit being slightly off when those dodgy lines are brought up.

"Go back to the assistant referee flagging for offside," Clattenburg writes in his column for the Daily Mail.

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"Yes, mistakes will be made, but I think the five goals that were disallowed over the weekend for marginal offsides - toes and armpits - would all have stood.

"And at least this removes the farcical nature of players not knowing if they are offside before scoring a goal. If you see a flag, you're off. VAR was never introduced to rule out the types of marginal offsides we have seen recently."

He also called for more consistency when it comes to "clear and obvious", echoing the opinions of many supporters. He didn't have a suggestion as such because of the difficulty but he did cite the shove on Newcastle striker Andy Carroll inside the box against Everton as a key example of VAR having inconsistencies.

Image: PA
Image: PA
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One of Clattenburg's most interesting proposals is to take a leaf out of cricket's book in affording each captain to have two challenges per games.

He explained: "For example, Liverpool would not have complained about Wolves' marginal offside goal on Sunday. Jordan Henderson, the Liverpool skipper, actually threw the ball back to halfway. He thought it was a goal and, under the challenge system, it would have stood.

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"This would put the ownership and responsibility back onto teams. Make it so that they can challenge any decision they see fit, but limit it to two or three per game."

The pitchside monitors are there for referees to use, as we have seen in various other countries and in the Champions League, but the Premier League are trying it without it. According to Clattenburg, things need to change so that the decision is with the man in charge of the game - while he also feels two people in the VAR room is not enough.

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"On a similar theme, when I worked for ITV at the World Cup last year, they had 20 people analysing all angles to get us the best images to inform our opinion on decisions.

"At Stockley Park there is the VAR and his assistant - how can they possibly see all angles when under pressure to make a quick decision? I'd put more eyes in there with them."

And finally, the head of officiating in China thinks there needs to be more communication and recommends having referees mic'd up and having their audio available to fans in the ground and those watching on the TV.

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Early on Sunday morning, we saw exactly this in the Australian A-League when a referee change a yellow card into a red card in the Sydney FC vs Melbourne City game.

"It would increase transparency and understanding and deter dissent," Clattenburg concludes.

Thoughts on Clattenburg's plan?

Sound off in the comments.

Topics: Football News, Football, Mark Clattenburg, Premier League, referee, VAR

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Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.