The Hypothetical Premier League


A manifesto of sorts to promote the use of video referees in elite football. 

  1. In a nutshell, The HPL shows how the Premier League season unravels, hypothetically, if video referees are used to get the big calls right. 
  2. The HPL reviews all major result-defining decisions: Goals scored are checked for legitimacy. Penalty appeals are reviewed. Violent conduct/mistaken identity, if directly altering a result, are included.
  3. However, in a sort of real-life attempt not to slow the action down at all (please take note technology haters) free-kicks, throw-ins and corners, even if directly resulting in a goal, remain the sole domain of the on-field referee.
  4. A weekly Matchday review of the crunch calls is compiled by father and son outfit, Harry and Louis Pratt, using expert punditry opinion, gathered from Sky Sports, Match of the Day, BT Sport, TalkSPORT etc., to assess the rights and wrongs. Where this is unavailable, split or missed, HP and LP may or may not intervene with deciding vote.
  5. Any penalties awarded retrospectively by HPL are considered scored. Of course, at the end of the season, a team’s success/failure ratio from 12 yards will be introduced into the final calculations and standings.
  6. Once the week’s errors are corrected and, where necessary, results amended, The HPL Table is published to reflect these changes. These are always found in Matchdays.
  7. Nothing can be final in HPL world. It’s all ifs and buts. The clue is in the title. Intermittently, we produce Snapshots – which dig deeper into the technology issue that so troubles football..
  8. Make no mistake, though, this is a non exhaustive, yet most exhausting study into understanding how football can and should  change – for the better – with the introduction of a simple TV referee review system.
  9. No sleep, therefore, till IFAB agree to the latest English and Dutch demands to test the use of video replays to improve elite refereeing.*
  10. It may sound geeky, the work of two totally in(s)ane football anoraks, but it is the complete reverse. The HPL is a labour of love – for the most beautiful of all our sporting arts – because, like it or not, and sooner or later, video referees are coming to a game near you! 

All points of views, moans, groans, wild protest or, heavens forbid, mild praise welcome.

Twitter: @gharrypratt

*The historic March 5 IFAB vote in favour of allowing a number of countries, including England, to test video referees over the next two years means we can all sleep a little longer!