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Apr 11, 2013

Hawk-Eye wins goal-line tech contract

Premier League clubs have approved the use of goal-line technology for next season, with Hawk-Eye being awarded the contract for next season. The British-based firm won the vote among representatives of all 20 top-flight clubs at a meeting in London on Thursday. They had been considering four potential systems approved by world football's governing body FIFA and were believed to have been choosing between Hawk-Eye and GoalControl. Hawk-Eye - which was bought by Sony two years ago - has already seen its system successfully utilised in tennis and cricket, while German firm GoalControl has been named as FIFA's preferred provider for next year's World Cup finals earlier this month. The installation of the technology will cost around £250,000 per Premier League ground, and it will also be installed at Wembley. A Premier League statement said: "The Premier League is pleased to announce that it has awarded Hawk-Eye, the world's leading provider of vision-processing instruments to sport, the contract to provide goal-line technology systems across its 20 member clubs and all 380 Barclays Premier League matches. "The camera-based system will be installed during the close season ready for use on the opening weekend of the 2013-14 Barclays Premier League season - Saturday 17 August. This will be the first time that goal-line technology is used in any domestic competition."

Former FA and Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein, who has been a long-term supporter of goal-line technology, said: "I have been on this campaign for six or seven years, and now it's going to happen. "The referees need help, the camera will always beat the eye, and every referee in the Premier League is in favour of it.'' England coach Roy Hodgson also backed the move, saying: "It's a simple technology to introduce, and one where there has been less reason, if you like, to doubt its usefulness. "It is one of those momentous days, like the changing of the offside law and the backpass to the goalkeeper rule, which many of us at the time were sceptical about - but now we have taken it to our hearts and quite appreciate it. "It's been a big debate, and for a while it was pushed back - but it's great now to see that everyone's on the same page and that we're introducing it." The clubs will also vote on ratifying plans to control club spending. The spending controls - a domestic and less strict version of UEFA's Financial Fair Play plans - would limit a club's total losses over a three-year period to £105 million and bring down spiralling wage bills. Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore has written to all 20 clubs, calling on them to back the plans, the Times has reported. The paper has seen an email in which Scudamore suggests clubs who voted against the proposals earlier this year - Aston Villa, Fulham, Manchester City, Southampton, Swansea and West Brom - should reconsider. Reading abstained. With the two-thirds majority in favour having been reached at a February vote, the chief executive said he hoped "some previous dissenters may see their way to approve the rules, as being consistent with the will of the majority". Club representatives first met in December to discuss plans for a new system obliging teams to break even and imposing a cap on wages. Chelsea, who had initially been thought likely to oppose FFP regulations, voted in favour and said they would "play our part [in discussions] to ensure implementation is fair for all clubs in the league''. The Premier League's legal advisers have since been working on the detailed plans now up for ratification. West Ham co-chairman David Gold, speaking in February, said spending restraints were needed and added: "What's driving the whole thing is we've got to avoid another Portsmouth.'' If the plans are given the final go-ahead, the Premier League will be the first top-flight league in Europe to bring in such a system.

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