Celtic legend Kenny Dalglish recognises the financial costs of a full-blown VAR system are prohibitive for Scottish football but at least wants a pitchside monitor to help referees make decisions, writing in his Sunday Post column (20/09 print edition, Match supplement page 9).
Scottish football is still dealing with the ongoing pandemic and associated testing costs so a VAR system to rival the English Premier League and other leagues around Europe seems as remote as ever.
However, Dalglish reckons the simple installation of pitchside monitors that includes access to the current broadcast angles could help officials make big penalty and red card decisions.
The former Bhoys forward wrote in The Sunday Post (20/09 print edition, Match supplement page 9): “It might be worth exploring the possibility of having a pitchside monitor at Premiership games.
“I know we don’t have multiple television cameras at every game to give a few from different angles, but all top-flight games are covered for television, so there is footage available that could be helpful.
“All everyone wants is for the correct decision to be made every time. That won’t always be possible, but the authorities should do what they can to help.
“A pitchside monitor is a baby-step for Scottish football, but it would mean the game is heading in the right direction.”
This is a pretty reasonable request in my book and could be a good middle-ground until the game in Scotland can fully explore a wider VAR system that includes offsides and goalline technology.
Obviously guidelines would need to be put in place for what kind of decisions it should be used for but surely when it comes to penalties and red card incidents, the officials on the park deserve a second look?
As it stands, Scotland is lagging behind in the technology department and we need to close the gap fast, or risk being left behind other nations who will be more used to it in European competitions.
Anything that helps referees reach the right decision is OK in my book and Dalglish’s call seems achievable.