Jeff Shi, owner of Wolves, urges fellow Premier League clubs to join him in eliminating VAR, arguing that it is a move to uphold the traditional magic of the sport we adore.

Jeff Shi, owner of Wolves, urges fellow Premier League clubs to join him in eliminating VAR, arguing that it is a move to uphold the traditional magic of the sport we adore.

Wolves owner Jeff Shi has called on Premier League clubs to vote with him to scrap VAR in England’s top flight ahead of next season. 

Following a proposal put forward by Wolves this week, clubs are set to vote on whether to keep VAR at a shareholders meeting on June 6.

Mail Sport understands that the push to scrap VAR entirely is likely to fail, with the Premier League supporting a swift introduction of in-stadium communication and being open to widening their pool of referees in a bid to improve the current system.

However, Shi has not given up hope of VAR being removed from English football, while denying that the proposal was put forward due to a number of decisions going against Wolves this season.

‘This week we formally submitted a resolution to the Premier League to trigger a vote on the future of VAR at the league’s AGM in June,’ Shi confirmed in his column for The Telegraph. ‘The reason we have done this has nothing to do with decisions that have gone against Wolves this season, but it is an honest attempt to safeguard the excitement, the reputation, and the future, of the game that we all fell in love with.

Wolves owner Jeff Shi (pictured) wants other clubs to vote with him to scrap VAR

Shi has insisted Wolves have not put the proposal to scrap VAR forward due to decisions going against them this season

Shi has insisted Wolves have not put the proposal to scrap VAR forward due to decisions going against them this season

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‘The Premier League’s match attending fans are becoming increasingly disengaged due to the negative impact of VAR on our match experience, which is also leading to apathy and hostility in the stands and on social media, negative and damaging rhetoric from pundits, players and managers and a destructive erosion of trust in football’s authorities and officials.

‘All of this is detrimental to the Premier League’s brand and reputation, and if we don’t halt it now, the damage may become irrevocable.’

In order for VAR to be scrapped, at least 14 of the 20 Premier League sides need to vote in favour of the proposal.

Shi urged other clubs to vote with him, insisting that taking away technology would not represent a backwards step.

He added: ‘Of course, the decision will be made, not by the supporters who pay their hard-earned money to attend the matches that we are spoiling, but by 20 football club executives in a meeting room at the Premier League AGM. As I did when I sat down with our Fan Advisory Board last month, I call on those club executives, and the league itself, to listen properly to the views of its supporters, players and managers, and consider this time, to vote in their interests.

‘Removing VAR is not going backwards, but moving forwards, and it is not an admission of failure but a reaffirmation of the league’s commitment to the passion, spontaneity, and authenticity that make English football truly exceptional.

‘Let us act decisively now to preserve the integrity and magic of the Premier League for generations to come.’

Wolves have been frustrated by a number of controversial decisions this season

Wolves have been frustrated by a number of controversial decisions this season

Gary O'Neil was furious after Wolves had a late equaliser disallowed against West Ham last month

Gary O’Neil was furious after Wolves had a late equaliser disallowed against West Ham last month

Shi’s plea follows a statement from Wolves’ Supporters Trust that called for fans to take a stance against VAR ahead of next month’s vote.

Wolves have the worst net score for VAR decisions in the last five years, and manager Gary O’Neil has been infuriated by a number of calls that have gone against his team this term.

He confronted referee Tony Harrington after Wolves had a last-minute equaliser ruled out for offside in their 2-1 defeat by West Ham last month.

Tawanda Chirewa was deemed to be blocking Lukasz Fabianski’s view as Max Kilman’s header flew into the net, but O’Neil labelled it ‘one of the worst decisions I’ve ever witnessed’.

Nottingham Forest have also complained about VAR, and claimed Stuart Attwell was a Luton fan after they were denied three penalties against Everton last month

Nottingham Forest have also complained about VAR, and claimed Stuart Attwell was a Luton fan after they were denied three penalties against Everton last month

Gary Neville accused Forest of acting like a 'mafia gang', with Forest responding by taking legal action

Gary Neville accused Forest of acting like a ‘mafia gang’, with Forest responding by taking legal action

Wolves are not the only club to have taken issue with VAR, as Nottingham Forest have also been unhappy with decisions that have gone against them in recent months.

They posted an extraordinary statement on X last month after their 2-0 loss at Everton where they accused the VAR Stuart Attwell of being a Luton fan after having three penalty appeals turned down at Goodison Park.

The statement was fiercely criticised by Gary Neville, who claimed Forest were acting like a ‘mafia gang’, leading to the club taking legal action against Sky Sports in response to Neville’s slur. 

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