Simon Jordan launches into talkSPORT rant after West Brom controversy in 2-1 win v Coventry
Simon Jordan has advocated for the use of VAR technology in the EFL after controversy between West Brom and Coventry on Saturday (4 December).
Albion beat their Midlands rivals 2-1 at the Coventry Building Society Arena with Kyle McFadzean’s late goal proving futile after his first-half own-goal added to Karlan Grant’s 20th-minute opener.
However, the Sky Blues were fuming after the ball appeared to strike Cedric Kipre’s arm in the build-up to Albion’s second goal.
“I was watching a couple of games, specifically two Championship games, West Brom against Coventry and Blackburn versus Preston, and there were decisions in those games that even the most obtuse of commentators were suggesting that these goals wouldn’t have stood in the Premier League,” Jordan ranted on talkSPORT (6 December).
“This is the league that feeds with Premier League, so with due respect, how can this be less important? Arguably it’s actually more important in this league because of the financial implications of trying to get into the Premier League, trying to stay in this division, the disparity between the wages in the Premier League and the drip down effect in the Championship. So it becomes almost unfathomable why professional football isn’t able to provide solutions all the way down the pyramid.
“There needs to be some funding made available. Every club in the pyramid should have VAR or technology available to it because the games are no less important in the Championship, League One or League Two.”
Jordan later added: “I think it’s wrong. There should be a consistency and quality of experience.”
This is an interesting discussion point, on a broader level.
Forgetting the isolated incident between West Brom and Coventry, calls for VAR have been growing in the Championship and further down the divisions for a number of years.
The standard of officiating below the Premier League is routinely criticised by key figures and fans, with no signs of any improvement.
In fairness to some of the referees and linespeople, they are not all full-time and clubs like West Brom, Fulham and Bournemouth are used to being officiated by some of the top people in the country, and even Europe.
So, if officials are not given as much training as those above them, shouldn’t they be given greater access to technology that can aid them and correct mistakes they may be making?
Of course, the other side is where does one draw the line? Should VAR stop in the Championship? If it goes down to League One, surely it has to filter down to League Two? Then what about the National League clubs, hoping to make a similar jump as those from the Championship to the Premier League?
It’s a difficult balancing act, but the calls for increased technology are growing louder.