VAR makes Premier League less enjoyable - YouGov survey

VAR
Pitchside monitors are now being used by referees in the Premier League

More than two-thirds of Premier League fans questioned believe the video assistant referee has made the game less enjoyable, a YouGov survey found.

VAR has been at the centre of a number of controversial decisions since it was introduced to the league this season.

Six out of 10 of those surveyed felt the system was working badly.

"Almost every manager's post-match interview featuring grumbles about [VAR] decisions," said lead data researcher Matt Smith.

A poll last month of 1,396 adults who regularly watch Premier League football found that 67% felt matches were now less enjoyable since the introduction of VAR.

Neil Swarbrick, who oversees the system for Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), rated VAR at seven out of 10 earlier this season during an interview with BBC Sport.

Only 15% of those surveyed wanted the system to be scrapped altogether with 74% saying it should be kept, but modified.

Of those surveyed, 81% felt that supporters should see the incident under review at the same time as the officials, while 80% felt referees should be encouraged to use the pitchside monitors.

Currently the advice to Premier League officials is to use these sparingly and trust in the guidance of the VAR, with a view to making a quicker decision.

Smith added: "Despite much social media hysteria, our research shows that a large majority of those watching the games actually want to see it reformed over a complete removal.

"In addition, many of the changes discussed amongst pundits and commentators poll well, with support for time limits on decisions and encouragement for more pitchside screen use.

"One of the major criticisms of the current system is that the spectator in the stadium is left in the dark while decisions are made and there is strong support for being able to see footage as it's being shown to VAR refs, as well as hearing the conversation the referees and the video assistant referees are having."

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