Sheffield United: Over two-thirds of football fans say VAR makes football less enjoyable... but only 15% would SCRAP it entirely

It’s a system that has caused controversy throughout the country since its introduction into the Premier League – and Sheffield United have suffered more than other clubs through VAR.

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 12:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 12:19 pm

But, in a YouGov poll of football fans, only 15 per cent would scrap the system entirely – despite over two thirds of fans saying it makes football less enjoyable.

The poll found:

That 67 per cent of fans say VAR has made watching football less enjoyable. That 60 per cent of fans say VAR has worked badly. That eight per cent of fans want to keep using VAR as it is used now. That 74 per cent of fans say keep using VAR, but change the ways it is used. That 15 per cent of fans want to stop using VAR entirely.

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The Premier League has conducted its own research into the use of VAR, the findings of which will be presented to United and the other 19 Premier League clubs on Thursday at a routine league meeting in London.

Fans also voted in favour of a time limit on decisions (71 per cent), for the use of pitchside monitors (80 per cent) and to hear conversations between referees and VARs (73 per cent).

The game’s lawmakers currently prevent clips being shown on big screens in stadiums until a referee has made his or her decision.

For the survey YouGov interviewed 1,419 GB adults “who watch Premier League matches very or fairly frequently.”

Just four per cent believe VAR has worked "very well” since its introduction to the Premier League.

Sky Sports’ Gary Neville said: "This idea that VAR is ruining football? It's not. What's happening is that VAR is experiencing some turbulence. When I went to Stockley Park earlier in the year, I had some concerns that we thought we could 'do it better' than countries and tournaments that have been doing it for years.

"It's been experimented, used and tested, and we thought we could do it better by not allowing the referee to go over to the monitor, because he's 'emotional'. We want emotion, we want the referee in the stadium to make the final decision.

"[They] want the Stockley Park officials removed from what would be the 'smell of the fixture', and I understand that, and for offsides that is fine, but not for decisions that relate to a red card, or big penalty decisions, it should be made by the on-field referee.”

Sheffield United saw a goal ruled out by VAR away at Manchester City