VAR Survey Results

What do Premier League fans think of VAR? A full breakdown of the survey results

A March 2018 survey of 2,000 UK football fans commissioned by found, despite negative sentiment surrounding VAR in the media, the majority of supporters are in agreement that Video Assistant Referees will have a positive impact on the sport. Here’s a full breakdown of the survey results:

1. Which football team do you support?

Choice %
AFC Bournemouth 1.00
Arsenal 8.30
Brighton & Hove Albion 1.85%
Burnley 0.80
Chelsea 5.50
Crystal Palace 0.45
Everton 2.30
Huddersfield Town 0.90
Leicester City 1.30
Liverpool 11.95
Manchester City 4.45
Manchester United 16.40
Newcastle United 4.25
Southampton 1.00
Stoke City 0.75
Swansea City 1.30
Tottenham Hotspur 5.00
Watford 0.35
West Bromwich Albion 1.05
West Ham United 2.15
Another team 22.35
I don’t support a particular team 6.60

2. When watching football, how many times per match do you find yourself disagreeing with a refereeing decision?

Choice %
0 6.00
1-3 40.40
4-6 27.10
7-9 9.35
10+ 17.15

3. Do you often feel you could do just as good a job – if not, better – of refereeing than most referees?

Choice %
Yes, definitely 14.00
Possibly 32.95
No 53.05

4. Do you know what VAR stands for?

Choice %
Yes 59.55
No 40.45

5. What does VAR stand for?

Choice %
Virtual Analysis Referral 4.28
Video Analysis Referee 11.08
Video Assistant Referee 75.06
Virtual Assistant Referee 8.40
Video/Audio Reference 0.42
Video Arbitration Register 0.25
Something else 0.50

6. Do you think a VAR (Video Assistant Referee) is positive or negative for football?

Choice %
Very Positive 23.50
Quite Positive 43.45
Neither good nor bad 17.15
Quite negative 8.15
Very negative 3.75
I don’t know 4.00

7. Do you think wrong refereeing decisions make for good talking points during/after a football match?

Choice %
Yes, definitely 30.15
Yes, somewhat 56.95
No 12.90

8. Do you think football would be missing out on a lot of interesting talking points or debates if refereeing mistakes were taken away?

Choice %
Yes, definitely 17.80
Yes, somewhat 52.25
No 29.95

9. Which of the following scenarios do you think VAR has been the most helpful in reviewing?

Choice %
Goals 57.40
Penalty decisions 64.25
Direct red cards 38.85
Mistaken Identity 24.95
I don’t know 12.45

10. Do you think VAR should be used to review any other match decisions?

Choice %
Deciding if a foul merits a yellow card 26.80
Spotting violent conduct like elbows or stamps 55.10%
Deciding if a foul merits a free kick 24.55
Determining which way a throw in should go 14.15
Determining whether a corner or a goal kick should be given 24.05
Punishing dives 50.45
Detecting handball 41.10
None 18.70
Other 0.50

11. Do you feel that on balance, your team has suffered rather than benefitted from refereeing mistakes?

Choice %
Yes, definitely 15.65
Yes, somewhat 40.80
No 43.55

12. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement? ‘I think having a VAR on standby will make referees worse/lazier, knowing they have something to ‘fall back on’ when making decisions’

Choice %
Strongly agree 6.95
Somewhat agree 24.50
Neither agree nor disagree 28.95
Somewhat disagree 24.50
Strongly disagree 12.05

13. Do you think protests from players ever influence referees to overturn their decisions?

Choice %
Yes 42.85
No 32.70
Not sure 24.45

14. Do you think that VAR will eliminate the influence of players on refereeing decisions?

Choice %
Yes, definitely 22.87
Yes, somewhat 51.11
No 17.74
Not sure 8.28

15. Do you think that referees typically give more favourable decisions to the ‘bigger’ clubs in the Premier League?

Choice %
Yes, definitely 21.10
Yes, somewhat 38.75
No 22.15
Not sure 18.00

16. Do you think VAR will level the playing field for ‘smaller’ Premier League clubs?

Choice %
Yes, definitely 20.72
Yes, somewhat 50.29
No 14.62
Not sure 14.37

Which of the current Premier League teams has benefited most from favourable refereeing decisions?

Choice %
AFC Bournemouth 2.20
Arsenal 10.15
Brighton & Hove Albion 2.40
Burnley 1.75
Chelsea 15.30
Crystal Palace 2.25
Everton 1.80
Huddersfield Town 1.45
Leicester City 1.60
Liverpool 11.75
Manchester City 15.50
Manchester United 29.50
Newcastle United 1.60
Southampton 0.85
Stoke City 1.15
Swansea City 0.50
Tottenham Hotspur 8.20
Watford 0.70
West Bromwich Albion 1.05
West Ham United 1.00
None of the above 6.10
I don’t know 44.75

18. Which controversial football moment missed by referees would you most like to go back and use VAR on?

Choice %
Maradona’s “Hand of God” goal for Argentina against England at the 1986 World Cup 56.85
Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal for England against Germany at the 2010 World Cup 41.45
Luis Garcia’s “Ghost Goal” for Liverpool against Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final in 2005 10.60
Sol Campbell’s disallowed goal for England against Portugal in the Euro 2004 quarter-finals 20.80
Thierry Henry’s handball for France against Ireland in a 2009 World Cup playoff 26.80
Josip Simunic’s three yellow cards for Croatia against Australia at the 2006 World Cup 8.00
Holland’s Nigel De Jong’s foul on Spain’s Xabi Alonso in the 2010 World Cup Final 8.80
Pedro Mendes’ disallowed 50-yard goal for Tottenham against Man United in 2005 12.30
Darren Bent’s goal via a beach-ball deflection for Sunderland against Liverpool in 2009 7.50
Liverpool’s Luis Suarez’s bite on Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in 2013 23.75
Holland’s Ronald Koeman’s foul on England’s David Platt in a 1993 World Cup qualifier 10.50
Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs being sent off for handball in 2014, despite the handball being committed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 16.70
Man City’s Ben Thatcher’s elbow on Portsmouth’s Pedro Mendes in 2006 10.80
None 16.70
Other 1.05

19. If VAR had been available throughout history, do you think the world of football would be very different?

Choice %
Yes, definitely 26.90
Yes, somewhat 48.90
No 10.25
Not sure 13.95

20. Have you ever shouted at a referee whilst at a live football match or at the TV because of a decision you thought was wrong?

Choice %
Yes – at a live match 10.55
Yes – at the TV 36.65
Yes – both 33.60
No 19.20

21. Do you think the stoppages caused by using a VAR are or could be detrimental to the game?

Choice %
Yes, definitely 18.15
Yes, somewhat 40.40
No 24.15
Not sure 17.30

22. Do you think VAR does or could have a negative effect on match-day atmosphere?

Choice %
Yes, definitely 18.10
Yes, somewhat 43.00
No 25.60
Not sure 13.30

23. Which sports do think have the best example of video refereeing?

Choice %
Cricket 30.95
Tennis 39.75
Rugby 42.20
NFL 9.90
Basketball 6.75
Baseball 3.80
None 20.70
Other 0.60

24. How easy or difficult do you think the job of being a football referee is?

Choice %
Very difficult 41.45
Somewhat difficult 38.85
Neither difficult nor easy 11.65
Somewhat easy 3.65
Very easy 1.05
Not sure 3.35

25. Do you think you could be a Premier League referee?

Choice %
Yes, definitely 7.70
Possibly 17.75
No 74.55

26. In Champions League and Europa League matches, two additional assistant referees are positioned alongside each goal to watch for penalty-area incidents. Do you think this ‘fifth official’ plays an important role in making key match decisions?

Choice %
Yes 46.00
No 27.65
Not sure 26.35

27. If VAR was in place, do you think having an additional ‘fifth official’ would still be necessary?

Choice %
Yes 24.20
No 45.70
Not sure 30.10