What West Ham fans will really see if the dreaded VAR decision message appears on the big screens at the London Stadium against Chelsea.
West Ham entertain Chelsea in the lunchtime kick-off with fans still reeling from a ridiculous VAR decision in the 1-1 draw with Brighton.
West Ham have officially been one of the worst affected clubs when it comes to goals being ruled out since the hugely controversial introduction of VAR.
Most football fans feel the implementation of VAR has improved this season.
But the decision to rule out West Ham’s goal which made it 2-0 in the second half against the Seagulls has stuck in the craw for Hammers fans.
When the VAR decision message appeared on the big screen it first said ‘Checking possible foul’ then ‘Checking possible handball’ and once those lengthy checks were finished finally ‘Checking possible offside’.
There was an audible gasp of bemusement from West Ham fans questioning how anyone can possibly have been offside from a corner and Craig Dawson’s close range touch into the corner.
“They’re desperate to find any reason to rule it out,” was the general consensus of opinion being muttered around the ground.
The crunch element of the decision was actually whether Michail Antonio had touched the ball. And there is still no clear evidence that he did.
VAR is only supposed to intervene for clear and obvious errors. The fact there is no footage which emphatically shows Antonio touched the ball AND that it took nearly four minutes to come to a decision is evidence that there was no ‘clear and obvious error’ from the officials.
The goal should have stood and at 2-0 West Ham would probably have gone on to take all three points.
Instead it was just the one and given West Ham missed out on the Champions League by only two points last season it could prove costly in the long run.
Some West Ham fans – like many supporters of teams outside the so called “big six” – believe there is a bias towards the traditional top four or six clubs.
There is a belief that it is more beneficial for the Premier League to have certain teams at the top when it comes to branding and the lucrative sale of TV rights.
What West Ham fans really see if VAR message appears against Chelsea
There is a feeling that little old West Ham being in the top four and one of the Premier League’s Champions League representatives would not be good for business so to speak. If that is the view from the higher-ups then it only goes to show how out of touch they are with most fans who are sick of seeing the same teams competing for the top spots and trophies every season.
The appalling lack of punishment for the Prem clubs involved in the despicable European Super League scandal only served to fuel those conspiracy theories.
And ahead of the game against Chelsea, this spoof VAR decision image is what many West Ham fans really see when the dreaded purple screen appears on the TV at the ground.
Let’s hope we get one or two in our favour soon.