Sir Alex Ferguson is not a fan of Video Assistant Referees, but the greatest football manager of all-time will come to accept it.
It’s been eight years since Ferguson retired and back then VAR didn’t exist. Since then, we’ve seen managers come and go, as well as a lot of dodgy decisions which have always been part of the game.
Like it or not, VAR is here to stay. We now have several technology-based additions to the game which didn’t exist when Fergie last managed a game of competitive football – and these have been made official across the board in the Premier League, Champions League and other competitions throughout Europe.
Speaking about the video replay system on a guest appearance for the UTD Podcast.
He said: “It’s a different world. It’s only eight years [since I retired]. Look at VAR. To me, the most talked about issue.
“VAR was not used once [during United’s victory against Newcastle United]. Supporters will enjoy that better, the game not stopping for two or three minutes at a time.”
The former manager added: “When I was in my last year [at United], they used the managers about it, about doing VAR.
“They experimented in Italy in the Super Cup and I don’t think any manager actually supported it. The game’s alright, you know?
“The problem with VAR and any of the things it changes, FIFA come up with ideas. Like having the ball in the centre of the pitch at kick-off and you have to pass it back. You tell me what good that does?
“Or passing the ball in the penalty box from the goalkeepers? It’s like gimmicks. The goalline technology, that stayed in and no-one’s complained one bit about it.
“Now there’s your situation with VAR being there. It’s not going to go away. We’ll eventually get used to it and stop complaining.”
Fergie had plenty of run-ins with referees down the years – I can’t imagine how he would react to some of the decisions VAR has thrown up, most notably against United with penalties this season.