Hibs boss Shaun Maloney wants full-time referees as he speaks on VAR preference

Hibs boss Shaun Maloney has welcomed the upcoming vote on introducing VAR to the cinch Premiership – but feels that a decision should have been made on full-time referees before looking at implementing VAR.

Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 4:36 pm

The 42 SPFL clubs will vote on Tuesday April 19 over the introduction of VAR to the top flight, with the vote requiring 75 per cent of Premiership clubs, 75 per cent of Championship clubs, and a combined 75 per cent of clubs in Leagues 1 and 2 to vote in favour.

Maloney is a big fan of the technology and feels Scotland is lagging behind other leagues.

"I’m a big fan of VAR. I understand there are results that don’t go your way sometimes – I think it feels like it might be going the opposite way at the moment – but I’m a fan,” he said during a question and answer session with Hibs season ticket holders.

SPFL referees undergo VAR training at Hampden last month

"We are way behind other countries. We should now be able to see the very best of VAR around Europe and then bring it to our league so that we don't spoil all the good things that we have in our league.

"It will help because the officials are part-time, so they have jobs Monday to Friday. To ask them to go into the weekend to big pressure games – we’re going for the top six – to ask a referee who isn’t a professional is also a hard job so the more we can do to help them the better and ideally we get a bit more on our side."

Maloney is keen for officials to get more help doing what he says is a difficult job – and that full-time whistlers would be a start.

"Why we’re going for VAR when referees aren’t full-time… I think it’s maybe the wrong one to do first,” he added.

"It’s a big positive. I’ve been desperate for VAR in our league and now we have seen other leagues use it, we have to bring the best version of that.

"A couple of years ago it was killing the momentum of the game and now it seems in England that it’s just seen as part of the game so hopefully we bring in a really good version and it doesn’t spoil what we’ve got.”

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