St Mary's set for goal-line technology as early as next season
3:36pm Thursday 28th February 2013
Saints will be obliged to have goal-line technology systems at St Mary's from as early as next season.
Assuming they stay up Saints will fall into line with the rest of the top flight clubs with the Premier League in "advanced talks" with two of the three licensed providers of the technology, Hampshire based Hawkeye and GoalRef, and are hopeful that all 20 clubs will have a system in place by August.
Having a system will be a pre-condition to taking part in the top flight, so all promoted clubs will have to implement the systems as well.
A meeting of the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the game's law-making body, will be told at a meeting in Edinburgh on Saturday that the first uses of technology at FIFA's Club World Cup in Japan in December were a resounding success.
That report to IFAB will remove any remaining issues about the systems being used in professional leagues.
Premier League communications director Dan Johnson said clubs would not be able to opt-out of having a system but that the cost would not be prohibitive to the 20 sides, who will all benefit from the bumper new television deals from next season.
He said: "We are in advanced discussions with two of the companies who provide the systems and we are working on the basis of having goal-line technology in place for the start of the season.
"All clubs will have to have the system to ensure the universal integrity of the competition, including those who are promoted."
The Premier League provided seed money to help Hawkeye develop a goal-line technology system back in 2007, but there is no longer a formal relationship with the British company, which is now owned by Sony.
League chiefs will choose a system based on both cost and ease of implementation and use.
FIFA will report to IFAB that both systems worked without errors in Japan - all 21 goals scored in the tournament were flashed to the referee's wrist-device within a second of the ball crossing the line.
Furthermore, no goals were registered when the ball struck the woodwork or the side-netting - issues that led to a number of other systems being refused licenses during testing last year.
Hawkeye is a camera-based system while GoalRef uses sensors on the posts and crossbar which detect changes in the magnetic field when the ball crosses the line.
Earlier this week, FIFA licensed a third company, German firm CAIROS, which also uses magnetic fields. A fourth company, also German, is expected to be licensed in the near future.