Premier League set for major rule change next season that will effect Manchester United and Man City

Man Utd and Man City have both experienced the technology in the Champions League.

The Premier League will introduce semi-automated VAR offside technology (SAOT) next season after its member clubs unanimously voted it in.

SAOT removes the manual aspect of reviewing offside decisions in which VAR assistants draw lines on a still image to determine if a player is beyond the last line of defence. The technology will reduce delays, with the Premier League suggesting an average of 31 seconds will be saved on each decision, and will also provide a clearer graphic for viewers.

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A statement read: "At a Premier League Shareholders' meeting today, clubs unanimously agreed to the introduction of Semi-Automated Offside Technology.

"The new system will be used for the first time in the Premier League next season, and it is anticipated the technology will be ready to be introduced after one of the Autumn international breaks.

"The technology will provide quicker and consistent placement of the virtual offside line, based on optical player tracking, and will produce high-quality broadcast graphics to ensure an enhanced in-stadium and broadcast experience for supporters."

SAOT is not expected to be active from the first week of next season, however, with ESPN reporting that a new technology company will not be in place and fully tested in time for mid-August. It is likely the new technology will be introduced after one of the autumn international breaks in September, October or November.

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UEFA and FIFA have both used SAOT in major competition, with the technology in use for the Champions League since the 2022/23 campaign. A similar system was also used in the 2022 Qatar World Cup and will be in use at Euro 2024. Serie A uses SAOT, while La Liga will introduce it for next season.

There has been growing frustration with the current offside technology amid long waiting times and numerous high-profile errors. Recent examples include a disallowed Brighton goal in which the VAR assistant used the wrong Crystal Palace defender as the last line of defence.

SAOT is expected to provide an almost instant decision which should ease the pressure on VAR assistants and placate supporters, both in-stadium and at home. The current system will remain in place as a back-up, in case SAOT fails for any reason.

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