Neil Warnock gives a scathing opinion of VAR and explains the changes he wants to see with it after countless issues since being brought in.
The ex-Premier League manager believes former players should take charge of the VAR system in football to speed up the process.
He said in a video with Sky Sports: “The game with the goal celebrations and everything else. Now, I’m not sure it’s benefited us, but it’s going to be here to stay.
“I don’t think that VAR should be… there should be ex referees doing it. I think there should be somebody that’s played the game doing it to help the referee, not referees…
“Because I think referees, they make mistakes on the field of play, and the same people are making mistakes in the VAR. And I think it’s because most of them’s never played the game.
“So I think Howard, who I do like, he was one of the old fashioned referees who knew the game, talked to players as well and had a personality.
“Whereas when Mike Riley come know, Mike Riley’s got, you know, the personality was zero and his referees were like that, and he refereed like a robot.
“And all the referees since then have been like that and educated like that.
“And I think they’ve got to have a little bit more about the game and get a little bit more knowledge about the game and talk to people other than the coaches, talk to people that have played the game to give them more awareness.
“So I’ve always said about VAR, if you can’t make a decision in 30 seconds, then go with what the referee says and get on with it. Even if it’s wrong, just go with it.”
He added via a tweet on his official Twitter account: “VAR is killing the PL with the way it’s implemented.
“The unique joy for players/fans when a goal is scored has gone
“It’s making referees lazy and unaccountable
“it’s overused and making the game feel artificial
“For me, the @EFL is much more enjoyable to watch without VAR.”
🗣 “Most of them have never played the game.”
Neil Warnock believes VAR decisions should have to be made within 30 seconds, and former players should take charge of the system ⚽📺 pic.twitter.com/2a2V3uNV2O
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 8, 2023
VAR is killing the PL with the way it’s implemented.
The unique joy for players/fans when a goal is scored has gone
It’s making referees lazy and unaccountable
it’s overused and making the game feel artificial
For me, the @EFL is much more enjoyable to watch without VAR
— Neil Warnock (@warnockofficial) November 8, 2023
In 2019, Neil Warnock insisted that VAR would be ‘fantastic’ for the Premier League, given time, despite the ongoing controversy that’s frustrating managers, players and fans, however, only believed that could only happen when referees chief Mike Riley steps down from his role and stops turning English officials into ‘robots’.
“VAR will be fantastic in years to come when Mike Riley has taken his leave,” Warnock told talkSPORT back then.
“They’re all doing it like robots, like Mike Riley is. He was a robot as a referee and is he as a leader.
“He doesn’t let his men go across there [to review incidents on pitchside monitors] and it’s scandalous really.
“I’ve always said you should judge offside by the feet.
“The feet score most of the goals, so I would do on from the feet. That would sort it all out with the lines.
“The Pukki goal, the movement that he did to get back onside was fantastic.
“That’s when I realised it was totally wrong, with that Pukki goal.”
In October 2019, he maintained belief of the new tech, but conceded it was nowhere near the level it should be for the English top flight.
Speaking to Alan Brazil, he said: “Every week we’re bewildered.
“I don’t think any of us know what is and what isn’t a penalty anymore.
“Listen, I think it’s a great thing and it’s got to come in, I just didn’t expect it to be as disappointing as it is.
“What disappoints me is when there isn’t an obvious error and they look at it in the studio and the referee doesn’t go and have a look like they do abroad.
“He’s only had one look, so he can make a mistake, but if he looks at it again a lot of the time he would probably change his mind.
“That’s what disappoints me really.
“It’s as if they’re being told, ‘we’re not going to change any decision if we can help it’.
“I do think it’s a good thing. There has got to be something to help referees, it’s getting more difficult for them and linesmen are making more mistakes than they’ve ever made.
“They’ve just got to come more in line with Europe, because we’re way out of line at the moment in England.”
🙏 “VAR will be fantastic when Mike Riley takes his leave.”
🤖 “Refs are [using VAR] like robots. Riley was a robot as a ref.”
🦵 “I’d do offsides from players’ feet. That’s where most goals are scored.”
Neil Warnock says VAR will flourish once Mike Riley quits the PGMOL 📺 pic.twitter.com/waqgMtRTLN
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) December 31, 2019
This is how fans reacted as Neil Warnock gives scathing a opinion of VAR and explains changes he wants to see with it…
@Rocket_NNN: Agree. The Championship is a far better division. Least ya can celebrate that moment when the ball hits the net instead of waiting minutes while bent officials manufacture any reason not to give it. Best League in the world. My arse UTC
@JRFearnley: Completely agree. VAR is ruining the sport. If I was in charge of FA, fifa, etc. tomorrow, it be scrapped. Miss you by the way Neil! 🙁 #htafc
@DanielHustler6: VAR should have been used for what it was intended for and that’s had the ball crossed the line or not. That’s all! Then the referees have control over the rest. They’re making a mockery out of a sport we all live and enjoy Neil. Anyway, hope you’re well pal.
@nickfruin: Anyone know where these ex-pros are putting their hands up for the job? Answer is.. there aren’t any, because they know how poorly (even the best) referees are treated by power trip managers like this one. ☝️
@NickoSlick_LUFC: People in a room making judgment calls on the judgments of officials on the pitch. Sounds bizarre doesn’t it.
@halftimepies: I do get what NW is saying & in theory he may be right, the only issue is as we’ve seen watching ex players as pundits, co-commentators etc, during the course of their careers they have picked up various bias and dislikes of clubs, 100% that would be transferred to decisions
@bwfc_elliot: As bad as you think var is, imagine how much worse it would be if some of these suggestions happen. It’s either do it properly don’t do it at all, not making shoddy decisions with a 30 second stop clock running
@DaviewolfWillis: Totally agree Neil – well said. The point regarding the referees becoming lazy is important as this is leading to the knee jerk decisions that, in turn, are leading to referees getting more grief than ever and the whole thing falling into disrepute. Bin it off 👍
@michaelgarvin: Completely agree. It is killing the enjoyment of football. Supporters need to take a stand, or maybe turn their back when a VAR desicion is being looked at. Thanks for keeping us @Boro supporters in the EFL. 😂
@pauljcooper1: Didn’t we accept the referees on field decision even if it was wrong before VAR. Wasn’t that what VAR was brought in for because clubs, managers couldn’t accept wrong on field decisions 🤦🤦🤦
@d5_rss: We were mis-sold it. It was supposed to overturn clear & obvious errors not to micro analyse every single thing.
@SimonCarr1831: Agree. Football in the PL & mid week European games is now a platform for refs and VAR to take all the attention away from the players. Gone are the days when you could watch a football match & not notice the ref with the game flowing. It’s a lot better watch EFL games than PL.
@DavidMannDevon: I couldn’t agree more Neil. Having watched @Argyle for the best part of 40 years I have seen some very questionable refereeing. However it is generally for both sides and they almost always even themselves out. The thought of having to wait for a VAR decision fills me with dread!
@BrianHoulton6: I agree Neil, I much prefer the football in the Championship. It is proper football, enjoyable to watch. tough, fast, skilful and hungry players. A decision is given and on with the Game, no faffing around. Unfortunately, I support Reading, so missing it this season
@rpcottam9: Being @lufc fan Neil I’ve enjoyed the football/league better this season rather than Prem. Your spot on. Bit controversial but I’d be happy to stay in Champs for football entertainment without VAR!
@luke29311: Well said Neil, it’s absolutely sucking the life out of the game. I don’t ever think we’ve scored anymore when the ball hits the back of the net, usually have to wait 5 minutes or so to find out if it is legitimate, it’s sad.
@FoxyDavy: Couldn’t agree more – watched Monday’s Spurs game & last nights United game yet hit far more enjoyment watching @ColU_Official v Swindon & don’t support either team – reak football in the 72.
@KompanysC: Wholeheartedly agree. Loved last season in the Championship. Obviously the results and promotion were a factor but now not so arsed if we get relegated for this reason. You can never celebrate a goal because you know it’ll have 10 minutes of critical review. Killing the game.
Neil Warnock if he was a VAR operator during a game pic.twitter.com/4K1hGuPDii
— We are Liverpool (@we_R_liverpool) November 8, 2023