Craig Levein: Hearts boss says extra money from TV deal should fund VAR

Manchester City v Burton
Video Assistant Referees have recently been introduced in England

The extra money from the Scottish Premiership's improved TV contract should be used to fund video assistant referee technology, says Craig Levein.

Sky Sports' exclusive five-year rights deal starts in 2020 and is worth in the region of £160m - an increase of 20%.

Top-flight managers and officials have backed the introduction of VAR technology following a summit.

"My view is the money comes off the top there before the distribution [to clubs]," said Hearts manager Levein.

"I think that's the easiest way to do it. Once you've handed the money out, to get it back off clubs is not quite so easy."

It emerged in December that Aberdeen and Hearts were planning to tell the Scottish FA they would be prepared to contribute to bringing in the technology and subsidise making referees full-time.

After the meeting hosted by the Scottish FA in Perth on 17 January, chief executive Ian Maxwell said there was now "a real appetite to investigate VAR".

But Maxwell also conceded it was a long-term project and that clubs would have stump up the cost.

However, Levein believes it should be viewed by clubs as a "necessary" investment to reduce errors and protect match officials.

He said: "There's two things here. Making sure we get more correct decisions, and the second thing after what happened to John Beaton, is taking the pressure off referees.

"So if you make a mistake, it gets fixed and it gets forgotten about, rather than the nonsense we've seen happen to John."

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