VAR operator sought for Scottish football - and is the salary worth it?

VAR, or the video-assistant referee to give it its Sunday name, is inevitable.

Referees, including John Beaton, gave a presentation and demonstration on the technology to the press recently and the increasing noise around decisions has only strengthened the case for its introduction.

A feature on Sky Sports saw Beaton show how VAR worked with the example of an incident of serious foul play from a Premier League match. The official talked angles, how the communication works with the referee and the general process.

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Part of that process was Sam, the replay operator, introduced as having an equally, if not more important role.

Referee reviews the VAR monitor for a potential penalty during Rangers and Red Star Belgrade. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)Referee reviews the VAR monitor for a potential penalty during Rangers and Red Star Belgrade. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Referee reviews the VAR monitor for a potential penalty during Rangers and Red Star Belgrade. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

“We’re just here to make sure that the referees get to see what they need to see to make their decision,” he said. “Whether we are picking the right angles or slowing the video down to the right points, making sure they get the points of contact for offsides or serious foul play challenges.

"It’s making sure they can do their job to the best of their abilities by helping them see what they need to see.”

In a fast-moving environment with a game going ahead as normal but clips and angles having to be collated for any potential review, perhaps with Andrew Dallas screaming at you, it will likely be a demanding role in the VOR (Video Operations Room).

And it can be yours!

That's right, Hawk-Eye, who will deliver the technology to the Scottish FA, are hiring and are looking for a ‘Football Replay Operator’.

In keeping with the majority of background roles within Scottish football you can argue that at a starting salary of £22,280 per annum, as well as a bonus up to 10 per cent, plus benefits, it is a VUR (Valuable Underpaid Role), considering the demands of the job.

Some of the key responsibilities:

- Liaising with support staff, match officials and supervisors on-site

- Operating the systems during the match

- Monitoring hardware and software performances, being able to troubleshoot and report encountered issues

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- Taking full responsibility for our system on-site and being an ambassador for Hawk-Eye

- During the off-season, building and maintaining our hardware and equipment

Then there are the benefits to the role which starts anywhere between April and October. To become associated with one of the most detested professions in Scotland who are subjected to over-the-top and largely unwarranted abuse by thousands each weekend. To have what school you went to queried. To have every angle and replay scrutinised by unqualified operators of the technology.

It is a fascinating role within Scottish football at a fascinating time. There is intrigue and suspicion within equal measure as to how much of a positive impact on the game and how it is refereed in this country.

The job puts the person at the forefront of that, working with the top referees, seeing how they operate and first-hand how difficult their job is.

In time it could lead to opportunities in European competitions and even the World Cup.

But first, helping Greg Aitken decide whether or not Kevin van Veen was offside when scoring against Hibs.

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