SPFL explain Celtic VAR timeline; some clubs reportedly wanted it in earlier

By David Walton

April 19, 2022

SPFL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster has explained why Celtic and the rest of the Scottish Premiership are having to wait for VAR to be introduced midway through next season.

Premiership, Championship, and Leagues 1 and 2 clubs cast their respective votes on video technology today at a league meeting this morning. As many as 41 of the 42 clubs agreed to bring VAR into play.

However, there has been confusion with regards to its scheduled date. The Scottish Premiership will have it installed after the World Cup in Qatar at the end of 2022 as opposed to the start of the season. The Daily Record reported earlier today that some clubs were still holding out for it to be ready for the summer [Daily Record live blog; 19/04, 11:22].

Photo by NESImages/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

And Doncaster has explained why that now won’t happen. Speaking to Sky Sports, the SPFL Chief Executive said: “In an ideal world, you would certainly want to implement VAR at the start of a season. But we’ve been told that it simply won’t be ready for the start of next season.

“We’ve been working at breakneck speed to get to this point. So it’s far better that we wait until VAR can be implemented effectively and with confidence.

“But we won’t be the only league to have implemented VAR on a staggered basis. I think the Polish and Czech Republic leagues have done the same. So I think what’s important is that when it does go live that it works as it should.”

What next for Ange Postecoglou and Celtic after defeat to Rangers | 67HH LIVE

What next for Ange Postecoglou and Celtic after defeat to Rangers | 67HH LIVE
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

VAR implementation date will undoubtedly cause unrest and debate

As things stand, nothing more than eyebrows are being raised when it comes to the implementation date for VAR in Scottish football. Everyone is happy to embrace it coming in and that’s the main talking point for now.

However, watch what will happen come the first dodgy decision that video technology catches. All of a sudden finger-pointing will occur and supporters will be saying they were disadvantaged due to similar incidents not being spotted earlier in the season.

What VAR should guarantee, however, is an element of fairness. Referees can let clubs get more poor decisions go for them than against them. But VAR should be able to catch out the most obvious on a consistent basis. Something even the Scottish referees have trouble doing.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Why VAR won’t actually be ready for the start of next season is also something that should be asked. After all, there have been calls for video technology to be integrated into Scottish football for years. Why haven’t arrangements simply been made to potentially have it ready for the summer?

In any case, the fact it’s here is good enough. Hopefully, it helps catch out some of the ridiculous incidents officials in this country have missed over the years.

We’ve seen it in action elsewhere, it’s time to experience it for ourselves.

In other news, Bundesliga youth coach provides fantastic insight into Celtic boss’ training methods