LONDON, United
Kingdom
– Premier League chief executive Richard Masters admits his
organisation must try to improve VAR after a season marred by controversy
surrounding the review technology.

A recent survey from opinion polling firm YouGov showed more
than two-thirds of Premier League fans questioned believe VAR has made the game
less enjoyable since it was introduced into the English top-flight.

Players, managers and fans have all complained about the way
the system is used, with lengthy review delays and dubious eventual decisions
causing widespread frustration.

Masters, who started his permanent role with the Premier
League in December, told BBC Sport that VAR would stay in the game, but he hopes
it can be improved.

“I don’t think VAR has been damaging but I accept it
needs improvement,” Masters said.

“Scrapping it is not an option — what we have to do is
try and make VAR better.”

VAR has been brought in to the Premier League to decide on
goals, penalties, red cards and offside decisions.

Masters revealed to the BBC that the Premier League would
discuss changes to VAR with the clubs in April.

“We are going to have a debate about what sort of VAR
they would like next season and what improvements can be made to the
system,” he said.

“It’s going to be a work in progress this season and
next as we try to rebalance it so you get the positives of better
decision-making and fewer of the perceived negatives about delay and sometimes
confusion.”

Meanwhile, in his first major media interviews, Masters said
he does not believe homegrown player quotas will improve the fortunes of the
England team.

The balance between homegrown and overseas players in a
25-man Premier League squad is back in the spotlight following the United
Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, which will affect the way clubs do
their international transfer business once the transition period ends at the
end of the year.

– ‘Different system’ –

The Football Association has previously stated in November
2018 that it favoured cutting the number of overseas players per squad from 17
to 13 with a view to boosting the chances of young English talent.

FA representatives are due to present to Premier League
clubs at the league’s shareholders’ meeting on Thursday, and Masters says the
conversation will be taken forward from there.

“We have to come up with a different system,” he
said.

“The FA, the EFL and the Premier League all agree that
(system) shouldn’t impact on the competitiveness of the Premier League, that
concept of the best versus the best. Clubs should still be able to acquire the
best talent and support a cohort of homegrown players coming through the
system.

“We don’t necessarily believe quotas are the
answer.”

Masters also spoke about the relationship between Premier
League clubs and betting companies, following criticism of the Football
Association for allowing FA Cup matches to be streamed on betting websites.

“The government deregulated gambling … in 2005, and I
think it’s probably about time to have another look at it, the government are
going to do that, we’ll be welcome participants in that,” he said.

“Our clubs have always abided by rules and regulations in
relation to it, I think this area does need stronger governance, particularly
to protect the vulnerable. 

“I don’t think the answer coming out at the end of it
should be that football clubs shouldn’t have shirts sponsored by gambling
companies any more, but we will certainly co-operate with the review.”

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