Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce may face PGMOL visit over VAR protests - according to ex-referee Keith Hackett

Newcastle United have had four VAR decisions go against them in just three Premier League games so far this season.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 12:00 pm

This is the most of any team in the division - compounding the misery of Newcastle’s poor start to the season.

Steve Bruce has felt particularly aggrieved with some VAR decisions this season.

Speaking after the 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa, a game which saw a goal disallowed and a penalty given for the opponents by VAR, Bruce said: "I feel disappointed with VAR because that's three big decisions in the last week which have ultimately, in these fine balanced games, proved costly.

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Keith Hackett believes Steve Bruce may face a visit from Mike Riley if protests over VAR continue (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

“I thought we were on the side of the attacker with it being clear and obvious but he’s offside by what, a toe again?

"If that’s not those lines joining then I don’t know what is. I’m really frustrated that big decision and the penalty went against us because nobody in the ground knew about [the penalty] so to go back to that we feel aggrieved.

"Those are key decisions that could have gone either way.”

Frustration at VAR has loomed large over St James’s Park this season and Bruce may find himself in hot-water if he continues to protest, that’s according to former head of the PGMOL Keith Hackett.

Speaking to Football Insider, Hackett said: “I don’t think there is anything untoward,”

“If Bruce has got his complaints, he’s got every right, but then Mike Riley may visit him.

“That’s his role. That’s how I used to deal with things when there was some concern.

“I would have taped the games, taken the video and then gone and seen them.

Hackett continued: “I think in the third week of the new ‘lighter touch’ scenario, there were some incidents where VAR didn’t come in when I thought it should have.

“We have given them some leeway in the opening stages because of the ‘lighter touch’ rule.

“But ultimately at the end of the day, we want VAR to come in on what are clear and obvious errors.

“I think Bruce will find that on most occasions that VAR is used, it’s overturning the decision. That’s the nature of its operation.“

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