The Premier League have announced measures to ensure VAR officials are paying attention to the game this season should anything go wrong during this evening’s Aston Villa-Sheffield United game, as happened in their previous meeting in June.
Villa were the beneficiaries of a goalline technology blunder that day, and VAR officials, who were binge-watching Tiger King during the game, missed the error completely.
The league’s statement this morning read: “The Premier League is pleased to announce that as part of its new partnership with Sofaworld, all TV remotes at the Stockley Park facility will be lost down behind the cushions during Aston Villa v Sheffield United this Monday to prevent anyone changing the channel during the game.”
“All kettles will have the plugs removed and phones will have to be left in a secure area prior to kick-off to remove any possible distractions for officials,” the statement read.
“And we’re only unlocking the toilets at half-time.”
It also confirmed that a high-pitched screeching would be played through speakers at random intervals during the game within the facility to ensure those viewing the game remain awake.
“It might seem excessive,” said one source, “but most of the VAR officials are in favour of it because it means they don’t have to listen to Martin Tyler sh*te-ing on when it goes off.”
Meanwhile, having successfully obscured goalline cameras during last season’s meeting with Sheffield United to earn a valuable point, the Villans are reportedly keen to repeat the feat in Monday evening’s clash with the Blades.
Manager Dean Smith is said to have devised a number of routines to prevent the technology from determining if the ball has crossed the line during their first Premier League game of the season.
The coach explained how crucial the tactics could be for his side this season during his Friday press conference.
“That draw against Sheffield United was huge for us last season – we only stayed up by a point, and let’s face it, we’re going the be pretty sh*t again this year,” the unusually candid coach confessed, “so any advantage we can get, we have to take it.”
“The kitman’s got every player an XXXXXL shirt so if they’re anywhere near the goalline when our keeper lets the ball slip past – which he probably will – there’s a good chance the excess flapping material gets in the way.”
“And the lads are now drilled to stand at 90 degrees to the goal at all times to cover as much of the goalline cameras as possible.”
“From set-pieces, we’re lining up two men on every post too, just in case.”
And there’s a backup plan if those measures fail.
“I’m not saying we’ve a man in place at Stockley Park who has laced the coffee machine with a laxative on Monday, but let’s just say, if anything goes to VAR there’s a good chance there’ll be no one to take the call…” before breaking into a diabolical laugh and twirling an invisible moustache.