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Voting down the the use of goal-line technology was the right choice for the Bundesliga

The Bundesliga goal line technology initiative was rumored to cost over €500,000. Naturally the DFL voted it down which was the right choice.

Dennis Grombkowski

On Monday, the DFL voted overwhelmingly against adopting the use of goal line technology. Of the 36 clubs comprising the DFL, two-thirds of them voted against the use of this technology, including 9 Bundesliga clubs and 15 2. Bundesliga clubs. Considering, the measure to pass needs a two-thirds majority, it's safe to say this isn't going to be a topic on the docket again for quite a while.

For all the positive press and spin that the adoption of technology into modern football receives, the use of goal line technology is basically a show pony waste of money. It started with the FA in England who adopted the use of the Hawk Eye system this year to monitor the goal in all Barclay's Premier League stadiums. What they don't really emphasize is the cost to implement and license this technology.

For the Bundesliga, implementation and operating costs over the course of 3 years were reported to be in excess of €500,000.

In England, the new system came slapped with a €300,600 installation price tag per stadium ($414,100) in addition to a the yearly operating cost reported to be somewhere north of €140,000 per season. In the United States, MLS refused to entertain the prospect of adding the system when MLS Commissioner Don Garber noted "It had us take a step back and pause and try to figure out is the value of having goal-line technology worth investing millions and millions and millions of dollars for the handful of moments where it's relevant?". And that gets to the crux of the situation.

Simply put, goal line technology is a waste of money. Sure, it stops things like Stefan Kießling's phantom tor against Hoffenheim, but for 99.999999% of the time, it does nothing. And it does said nothingness at a half-million Euro price tag. For many teams, including many of those in the 2.Bundesliga, that's a huge commitment in terms of annual operating budget. Specific case in point SC Freiburg, who despite being a very successful club last season in the Bundesliga, sold Max Kruse to Borussia Mönchengladbach for a paltry €1.5M, just triple what they might have been required to spend for really amounts to 6-8 cameras and a fancy chipped ball. The DFL is not flush with cash and revenue in many parts of the league. These teams spend what they can just trying to afford their players. A €500,000 outlay is one ore more players they can't afford to pay and are forced to sell. It's a whole section of their academy that they can't support.

And that one moment of controversy; those lost 3 points in October for Hoffenheim? They were paid back ten-fold with a 3-2 win over an inept struggling Leverkusen at the BayArena, culminating in one of the cheekiest goal celebrations of the season, and getting to rub Leverkusen's nose in it. Those kinds of moments define the human side of football.

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