VAR has taken all enjoyment out of the game - Rooney

Wayne Rooney, while Birmingham manager, gesticulates with one arm out towards the pitch
Wayne Rooney would welcome the scrapping of VAR. [Getty Images]

Former England captain Wayne Rooney would welcome video assistant referees (VAR) being scrapped, with Premier League clubs poised to vote on rejecting the technology.

Clubs will vote on whether to remove VAR from next season at their annual general meeting next month.

Wolves have formally submitted a resolution to the Premier League which will trigger a vote when the 20 member clubs meet in Harrogate on 6 June.

Speaking on Sky Sports, ex-Manchester United striker Rooney said he preferred the game without VAR.

"I don't like VAR and if it's there and they get all the decisions right then fair enough but it's taken all the enjoyment out of the game," he told Sky Sports.

"If you're a goalscorer and you score a goal you have to wait to celebrate and the fans are having to wait to celebrate. It's wrong.

"You're better off letting referees ref it and understand they will make mistakes. I'd much rather see the game without it."

Gary O'Neil remonstrates with his arms out to referee Tony Harrington, who has his back to the camera, after Wolves' defeat to West Ham
Gary O'Neil was fined £8,000 and given a touchline ban following the West Ham game. [Getty Images]

Former Manchester United and Newcastle forward Andy Cole also said the technology has failed to improve the game.

"It's spoiled the game. There's far too much controversy surrounding it," he said on Sky Sports. "They said it was going to make the game better but it's made the game worse. It's taken a lot of entertainment out of the game - celebrating a goal."

Why have Wolves called for a vote on VAR?

Wolves said VAR was introduced "in good faith" but has led to "numerous unintended negative consequences that are damaging the relationship between fans and football".

The club is bringing the discussion to the table to judge the real feeling about VAR, not just to sit through the summer and accept things are fine with the technology.

Decisions against Manchester United, Luton, Sheffield United, Newcastle and Fulham also cost them points in the first half of the season.

There was a split Key Match Incident (KMI) panel decision on whether Joao Gomes’ handball should have been given in the 1-1 draw at Luton while it unanimously agreed Sheffield United’s last-gasp penalty winner should not have been given.

Newcastle’s spot-kick should also have been overturned while at Fulham in November the visitors conceded two penalties and also believed Carlos Vinicius should have been red carded. But the panel felt the VAR calls were correct.

At the time O’Neil said the club may “have to start making noise” about VAR calls.

Will Wolves have support from other clubs?

The call which was the straw which ultimately broke the camel’s back for Wolves was the decision to rule out Max Kilman’s injury-time leveller against West Ham last month.

Wolves lost 2-1 at home, harming their European hopes at the time, after Tawanda Chirewa was adjudged to be offside and blocking Lukasz Fabianski, therefore interfering with play.

O’Neil called it one of the worst decisions he had ever seen and his reaction to referee Tony Harrington led to a £8,000 fine and a one-game touchline ban.

The KMI panel unanimously agreed with the officials’ decisions.

Wolves are likely to find support from other clubs.

Nottingham Forest’s controversial social media post about VAR Stuart Attwell following the defeat at Everton in April went viral.

Claims for penalties after Ashley Young's challenge on Gio Reyna, his handball and then an attempted tackle on Callum Hudson-Odoi were all turned down by Anthony Taylor on the pitch, with video assistant referee Attwell not intervening.

Forest lost the Premier League game 2-0 at Goodison Park.

The ball appears to strike Ashley Young's right arm with Callum Hudson-Odoi next to him on his left hand side after crossing the ball
Nottingham Forest wanted a penalty for Ashley Young's handball. [Getty Images]

Minutes after full-time, the club posted on social media, alleging Attwell was a fan of relegation rivals Luton - a statement which has been seen more than 45 million times.

Forest's post said: "Three extremely poor decisions - three penalties not given - which we simply cannot accept.

"We warned the PGMOL that the VAR is a Luton fan... NFFC will now consider its options."

The KMI panel ruled Forest should have had one spot-kick.

In October, the audio recordings of discussions between the match officials around Luis Diaz's disallowed goal against Tottenham were made public.

Liverpool asked referees' body PGMOL for the audio after the controversy in the first half of their 2-1 defeat.

Video assistant referee Darren England did not overrule when Liverpool's Diaz was wrongly flagged offside.

What does the Premier League say?

Any call from clubs to jettison VAR will be met with pushback from the Premier League which believes rejecting the technology is not the way forward.

VAR has increased the number of correct decisions made in games from 82%, prior to its introduction, to 96% this season and the removal of the technology would allow more wrong decisions to creep back in.

A VAR snub would also have a significant impact on the Premier League’s reputation as the best league in the world and possibly put more scrutiny on on-field decisions.

A statement following Wolves' resolution read: "Clubs are entitled to put forward proposals at Shareholders’ meetings and we acknowledge the concerns and issues around the use of VAR.

“However, the League fully supports the use of VAR and remains committed, alongside PGMOL, to make continued improvements to the system for the benefit of the game and fans.”