PL clubs planning to follow Newcastle in making complaints about VAR

EXCLUSIVE: Premier League clubs are compiling lists of their controversial VAR decisions in case they decide to follow Newcastle in making an official complaint after a weekend of errors

  • There were a number of controversial VAR decisions over the weekend 
  • The PGMOL acknowledged errors in the Newcastle and West Ham games 
  • Clubs are expected to follow Newcastle in making official complaints 
  • Howard Webb is set to join the PGMOL as chief refereeing officer on Boxing Day

Premier League clubs are compiling lists of their VAR injustices in case they wish to follow Newcastle in making an official complaint about the system.

Newcastle’s move comes after a goal against Crystal Palace on Saturday was disallowed for a foul by Joe Willock on Vicente Guaita. It has been widely accepted that Willock did nothing wrong as he was pushed in the back by Tyrick Mitchell, forcing him to crash into the Palace goalkeeper.

Sportsmail has learned that other top-flight clubs are keeping track of their VAR gripes. A source at one club said that their list is growing longer by the week.

Newcastle have made an official complaint after Joe Willock’s goal was ruled out by VAR

The PGMOL acknowledged errors in the Newcastle and West Ham games last weekend 

Six games into the new season Newcastle’s list is among the longest. They conceded a 98th-minute winner to Liverpool last week when only five minutes of stoppage time were announced. They also felt robbed of penalties against Wolves, when Sean Longstaff had his shirt pulled by Matheus Nunes, and Manchester City, when Fabian Schar was clattered into by John Stones.

The Premier League’s refereeing body PGMOL have admitted VAR errors in last weekend’s Newcastle game and Chelsea’s controversial win over West Ham, which saw Maxwel Cornet’s late equaliser incorrectly ruled out after Andy Madley consulted the pitchside monitor as instructed by Jarred Gillett. Neither Gillett nor Mason, who was VAR at Newcastle, will be on replay duty for this weekend’s matches.

World Cup 2010 final referee Howard Webb is to join PGMOL as chief refereeing officer later this season, but his first match in charge will not be until Boxing Day as he is contracted to Major League Soccer until November 15, after which the season breaks for the World Cup. Webb, who has headed the North American referees’ body for six years, is hoping to improve transparency by broadcasting conversations between the match officials.

Other Premier League clubs are planning to follow Newcastle in making official complaints

What new ref supremo could bring to the Premier League


Howard Webb is an advocate of transparency and in MLS, fans can visit the YouTube channel of the Professional Referee Organisation (PRO) — the US equivalent of the PGMOL in England — to watch a weekly video review.


In MLS, referees are assigned their matches 18 days in advance. That is due the logistics of them needing to arrange travel around the US. Despite the difficulties that poses, Webb is not against dropping officials if they make a bad error that directly impacts a result. He wants them to be accountable for their actions and not to put in below-par performances.

Howard Webb is set to join the PGMOL as chief refereeing officer on Boxing Day


Webb is not against PRO publicly acknowledging when a mistake is made. They do not issue statements weekly but they will make an exception if an error is particularly unfortunate. Webb sees it as the best way to maintain credibility and let fans know that a mistake is a mistake — nothing more. In MLS, supporters seem more open to VAR, even if referees are not always getting the calls right. This transparency boosts that.


VAR is not for the ‘I’ve seen them given’ moments. They are for the instances where the referee has made a big mistake. That is when VAR should get involved. Webb likes to use the example from his 2010 World Cup final between Holland and Spain. He missed Nigel de Jong’s foot in the chest of Xabi Alonso. If VAR was available, Webb could have visited his monitor and sent off De Jong.


MLS have flirted with using live audio and tried it on a few occasions, though need FIFA’s permission to do so. The world governing body have been reluctant to let this happen, though Webb is believed to be open to the idea himself.

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