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Give me 5 minutes of your time. I’m going to fix refereeing and VAR.

There’s been a lot of controversy over VAR since it came in, personally I’m a fan of it, but I don’t think it’s perfect, so here is how I’m going to fix it. 

For this I am the referee.

Ok, first off, we need to address refereeing in general. Currently every decision is met with swarms of players moaning, swearing and the like. To fix this I propose a very simple rule. 

Rule 1.1 – Referee/Assistant Referees decision is final, allowing for VAR as well. If you don’t agree with their decision, tough.

Rule 1.2 – after said decision is made, the referee warns the players to bugger off and get on with it. After 5 seconds, anyone within 5 yards of the ref is booked. Still there? Red. If a team goes below 8 players because of this, your team instantly loses 3-0.

I guarantee within 1 week of this, the moaning and protesting stops. Imagine being the reason your team lose 3-0 because you were crying over a decision, man up son.

But Stiv, I hear you cry, football is passionate. Yes, I agree. So is every other sport, but they seem to be able to take a decision with grace and humility. Take Rugby, everyone calls the ref Sir and they spend the whole game trying to maim one another. If these scrappers can do it, I’m sure the L’Oréal models can handle it. 

Now the referee is finally getting the respect he should get, let’s move onto the VAR decisions.


So the big thing here is apparently a toenail, elbow or fingertip can be offside/onside and have a goal allowed or disallowed based on this. This is simple thing to fix, steal from cricket.

Umpires call is something used when a ball may be clipping a wicket on the tech in an LBW call for example, as it’s so close, the decision made by the umpire on field stands. Same thing should happen in football, if the offside isn’t clear and requires nanometre technology to decide if the guy is offside or not, then its ref’s call, if he was ruled offside at the time on the pitch, no goal, conversely if he wasn’t then it’s a goal.

See? Fixed. No setting up funny coloured lines and taking 20 minutes to decide if that left testicle may be slightly offside as the wind blows. If it’s not clear, and by clear I mean obvious in a single replay, then on field decision stands. Moving on…


This bugs the hell out of me this one. Why does a foul need to be close to manslaughter to be given as a penalty?

Simple question: if that was any where else on the pitch would it be a foul? If the answer is yes it’s a penalty. End of. I don’t want to hear this whole “well it would be a foul, but in the box? Not for me Jim” crap. A foul is a foul, regardless of where it happens. 

“but he didn’t go down” – so what? He should be applauded for trying to stay on his feet, not punished, a foul is a foul. Next.


VAR annoy me here too, what’s this sleeve to hand rule all about? This is so simple for me its actually painful. Get rid of this unnatural position nonsense, the referees aren’t biologists and as such they aren’t in any position to decide what is natural or unnatural. The fix I propose: did the player move his hand to the ball? It’s a yes or no answer. If he moved his arm/hand towards the ball in a deliberate attempt to block it, that’s handball. If he didn’t and the ball hits his arm, its ball to hand. You know, the same way handball is given literally everywhere else on the pitch?

Its not rocket science this is it? Next…


Who decided it was a good idea to rewind time by 5 minutes because it’s the same phase of play? Sod off mate. If a foul happened in the build up and was missed, tough titty my lad. It happens. Was the first pass offside? You know the one that started the move, where 57 passes later they scored? Again, simple, was he given as offside at the time? No? then no he wasn’t and it’s a goal

So Neto’s foul against Newcastle, which was foul in my opinion, wasn’t given by the referee at the time (and that makes sense because he didn’t give any fouls that game. At one point Kilman pulled a shotgun out of his shorts and literally killed a player, the ref told him to get up) so the goal stands and wolves win.


Oh yeah, final rule. Wolves win. Always. My wife deserves to not have to deal with me being all mardy, don’t like it? See rule 1.1

I could fix all the world’s problems, if I had the time. Or cared enough…

Stiv Bagnall, Always Wolves Fan TV


Born and raised in Wolverhampton, Stiv is a lifelong wolves fan, watching his game in 1990 on the old red seats of the family enclosure. He is a published author and an award winning stand up comic and he can normally be found in the back office of his shop, MouseBench, in the Mander Centre.


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