It’s rare that all football fans are united in their dislike for someone or something.
But it seems that 99.9% of supporters of Premier League teams are on the same page when it comes to VAR – evidence of that comes with the rather potty-mouthed chant that you can hear on the terraces most weekends.
The 2019/20 campaign is the first in which video technology has been rolled out in the English top flight, and while the general consensus of the man or woman in the stands is that it has had a negative impact upon the beautiful game, the stats suggest that it is actually making football fairer and more ‘reliable’ in terms of delivering the right result for an individual match.
As of February 3, 2020, some 75 goals or incidents have been directly impacted by VAR, including penalty decisions and where yellow/red cards should be dished out.
Of those 75 moments, 19 have led to goals being given (that were either ruled out or contentious) while 38 instances have seen a goal chalked off the ledger.
An additional 12 penalties have been awarded by VAR where the referee hadn’t originally given them, while in four cases a spot kick was awarded but subsequently overturned by the video panel.
There are other interesting stats regarding offside (25 goals ruled out for offside, seven given after an incorrect offside call by the assistant referee), handball (seven goals ruled out for handball, two goals allowed after wrongful handball decisions) and red cards (five dismissals given, three overturned).
The 2019/20 Premier League VAR Table
Of course, the usual conspiracy theorists on social media are out there telling us that Liverpool are charmed when it comes to VAR or that Manchester United never get a look-in from the video adjudication review system, so who has enjoyed the rub of the green ad who has had a video nasty so far?
(Stats correct as of February 3, 2020):
|Team||Positive Outcome||Negative Outcome||Difference|
So there you have it! Brighton have enjoyed the life of Riley as far as VAR is concerned, gaining seven goals due to video referrals.
At the other end of the spectrum, promoted sides Sheffield United and Norwich City have been the hardest done by – or at least the most put-out by the video correction.
It’s interesting that of the teams that have enjoyed the fewest VAR goals in their favour, it’s those near the bottom of the table that have suffered the most – it never rains but it pours.
And as for those Liverpool rumours….well, as you can see, they’ve neither enjoyed a charmed life nor a disastrous run as far as VAR adjudications are concerned.