In the aftermath of St Mirren’s 2-1 defeat to Celtic on Wednesday night, Saints boss Jim Goodwin was lamenting the lack of VAR technology in the Scottish top flight.

Goodwin believes that had the technology been in use the Saints would have got a penalty for a handball by Celtic’s Shane Duffy.

“People will be sick and tired of my whining voice, but unfortunately I am disappointed that we didn’t get a penalty in the first-half…maybe the conversation we should be having is ‘where are we going to find the money to get VAR'” Goodwin said, as quoted by the Herald.

Understandable opinion from manager

It is understandable why managers would want VAR to be introduced. After all, it would iron out some of the mistakes that have been made by match officials.

VAR is currently not used in Scotland
VAR is currently not used in Scotland (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

However, Goodwin is unlikely to get his wish of VAR being introduced to the Scottish top flight. The reason is actually something he mentioned – money.

Last year, the Daily Mail reported that it would cost £1m to introduce VAR to Scottish football. Significantly, it also reported that clubs would have to pay for it.

Little chance of system being introduced

Perhaps there was a chance of clubs paying that money last year. At the moment, you’d have to think there was no chance of that happening.

St Mirren in action against Celtic
St Mirren in action against Celtic (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The reason is of course that finances in the game have badly taken a hit due to the Covid outbreak. Therefore, at the moment clubs in Scotland – and everywhere else – need to save all the money they can.

That means that any discussion about VAR will need to be placed on the back burner for the time being.


When fans can return to stadiums, and football finds itself back on solid financial footing then Goodwin might well get his wish. VAR could be introduced to the Scottish top flight in the future.

For now though, he and the rest of the Scottish game will just need to get on with things the way that they are.

The VAR debate is likely to go on for a while. Especially when any contentious incidents are missed by a referee. For the moment though, the game in Scotland has bigger issues to worry about.

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