Study claims VAR will add an extra five hours of Premier League football

Referee Edina Alves Batista checks the VAR monitor during the Women's World Cup France semi-final. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
VAR featured prominently during the Women's World Cup. (Credit: Getty Images)

VAR is set to add five hours of football to the Premier League when it is introduced this year.

These are the findings from a study by spread betting firm Spreadex, who have explored how the implementation of the new system is set to impact the game.

The study also predicts more than 100 Premier League penalties will be scored in a season for the first time ever.

Analysts looked at the average length of Premier League stoppage time over four seasons and compared it to competitions where VAR is already in use.

The results found that games lasted 50.2 seconds longer where the technology was in use, and expanding that over an entire Premier League season would add an extra 5 hours, 17 minutes and 56 seconds of football.

“Those fans who leave the ground early will find they are missing more football than ever before,” Said Spreadex spokesman Andy MacKenzie

“With the introduction of VAR it’s likely there will be many cases of matches lasting for 100 minutes instead of the traditional 90 minutes.”

A VAR penalty review during the Women's World Cup France Final. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
A VAR penalty review during the Women's World Cup. (Credit: Getty Images)

Spreadex also predicts the number of penalties scored to top 100 for the first time since the Premier League began in 1992.

Last season saw 84 penalties scored in the top flight.

VAR caused huge controversy at the Women’s World Cup in France this summer due to lengthy delays in decision-making, in particular over the application of the handball law to award penalties and goalkeeper movement on spot-kicks.

Managing director of the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) Mike Riley said earlier this week that English referees will not take such a hard line approach to using VAR.

“Where you have to be careful is to not use VAR to re-referee the game. You have to trust the people out there on the field of play as the players do.

“What you also don’t want to do, particularly in our game, is to disrupt the intensity or the flow of the match.”