Swansea City v Manchester United - Barclays Premier League

Yesterday, the DFL rejected the implementation of goal-line technology after a meeting of the 36 clubs comprising the top two divisions in Germany:

The proposal failed to gain the necessary two-thirds majority, with nine Bundesliga clubs and 15 Bundesliga 2 sides voting against the introduction of goal-line technology. In order for the vote to be passed, 12 clubs in each division would have had to have voted in favour of goal-line technology.

Dr. Reinhard Rauball, President of the League Association, confirmed that every club in the top two divisions had voted and had been informed of the arguments both for and against the implementation of the technology.

What’s interesting is that while this debate has often been cast in terms of conservative vs reformer, the real reason for the vote seems to have nothing to do with the efficacy of the technology, but its cost relative to its benefit. Here’s Hamburger managing director Oliver Kreuzer:

“We debate over one, two or three decisions in a season. Sometimes you are on the right end of things, sometimes not. It evens out. On the other side, you have extreme costs. It doesn’t pay off.”

Perhaps we’re used to the “We Can Pay for Anything” Premier League, but the costs don’t seem to match the benefit. But interestingly, the cost of goal-line tech in the Premier League run by HawkEye seems to be substantially lower than the Bundesliga proposal from German company GoalControl. The Premier League’s contract is £475,000 for five years, while the Bundesliga company GoalControl was going to charge just under £420,000 for three years.

Cost is the number one issue with goal-line tech. MLS rejected implementing the technology for that reason. Turns out the best argument that anti-GLT advocates could have used had nothing to do with conserving the roots of the game, but with the enormous cost.