Inside ‘elite efficiency’ Premier League VAR hub from fashionable fitness center to large sofas
VAR officers would possibly get handled like dust on social media, however they’re handled like kings at Stockley Park.
The £1million ‘elite efficiency’ complicated, which opened in August, homes VARs as they monitor reside Premier League matches. Fans may need pictured a dingy man-cave or a possibly a grandiose, aristocratic parlour room given the perceived ineptitude and/or ghoulish unaccountability of the officers.
But actually they have been arrange in a state-of-the-art hub fitted with luxuries corresponding to pool tables, comfortable lounge areas and even a therapeutic massage station. PGMOL boss Howard Webb claims the “cutting-edge” complicated supplies “an environment where the best possible outcomes can be achieved to benefit the game”, although some suppose it is a big waste of cash.
Ex-Premier League referee Mark Halsey labelled it a “holiday camp” and recommended the cash be put in direction of enhancing the usual of officiating, somewhat than mentioned officers’ consolation. “The facilities on offer at Stockley Park make it seem like a holiday camp. But referees and officials are there to do a job,” he mentioned.
“Howard wants a central hub but doesn’t need a workplace where it is all about rest and relaxation. The money spent is a tidy sum but what are we getting for it? Certainly not world-class officials.”
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“I could understand splashing the cash on accessories if VARs were getting the decisions right. But they’re not so it’s a waste of money,” Halsey added. “We should be putting the money into producing better quality coaching and training for officials, rather than facilities at Stockley Park.”
Other facilities embrace an out of doors balcony with sofas and views over London, a canteen, a fitness center, a desk tennis desk and several other plush convention rooms. Halsey, who refereed within the Premier League between 1999 and 2013, went on to say that VAR has “gone backwards” because it was first launched and pinned the blame squarely on the individuals working the know-how, somewhat than the tech itself.
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“Some of the incidents we have seen in the last few weeks have shown VAR has not improved since its implementation. If anything, it has gone backwards,” he harassed. “VAR isn’t working, not because of the technology, but because of the personnel operating it.
“We must be placing the cash into producing higher high quality teaching and coaching for officers, somewhat than services at Stockley Park. The normal of refereeing just isn’t what it must be at elite degree. We solely have a handful of top-level refs in Michael Oliver, Anthony Taylor and Chris Kavanagh and that’s not ok.”
Halsey additionally reckoned that VARs must be based mostly on the stadiums somewhat than at Stockley Park, arguing that this could “build better relationships” between the officers and “aid the VAR process”.
VAR has been beneath the microscope all season amid a unbroken sequence of high-profile blunders. The likes of Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp have been extraordinarily important of calls that have not gone their approach, whereas Ange Postecoglou has admitted he thinks the know-how makes the sport worse.