Celtic handed timeline update on VAR with Bhoys shelling out six-figure fee

By John McGinley

July 21, 2022

The SPFL are looking to bring in a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system by October, well ahead of the previously proposed start date in December.

It was determined that VAR would be introduced to the Scottish Premiership after the upcoming World Cup.

However, The Scottish Daily Mail reports that officials are now eyeing the weekend of 22nd October as the latest target, with the SFA and SPFL keen to introduce it as quickly as possible. [20/07 print edition, page 83]

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Premiership clubs are said to have been informed of the new timeline at the SPFL AGM earlier this week.

The annual bills for VAR stand at around £1.2m, with Celtic the biggest contributors this year as reigning champions. The fees are paid on a sliding scale, with the Bhoys paying around £195,000 this season and the lowest team £67,000.

The SFA, meanwhile, have covered all costs for staff and referee training.

Sadly it looks like hopes of the league managing to introduce the technology for the start of the season are over, meaning there will be some games over the campaign refereed traditionally.

That creates a natural imbalance that could attract controversy and the concerns of teams up and down the division.

Nonetheless, the quicker they can implement it, the less likely that is to happen – even if concerns remain about the introduction of the technology full stop.

Many fans from leagues around the world do not enjoy the VAR system, whether part of the experience in stadia or even watching on at home. There’s a feeling it takes something away from the action.

Photo by Joao Rico/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

But Scottish football would be silly to be left behind, and we can only hope its implementation by the SFA is a smooth process that doesn’t unfairly impact Celtic along the way.

VAR is coming – there’s no stopping it now. So let’s make the best of it. Bringing it in earlier than expected at least shows authorities are getting to grips with the situation.

In other news, Viaplay CEO promises value for Celtic and Scottish football supporters after broadcast move.