EFL supporter survey: Nearly two-thirds of fans want VAR & goalline technology introduced

VAR check on big screen
VAR was trialled in some Carabao Cup matches last season, but not used in EFL league competitions

Almost two-thirds of fans of English Football League clubs want video assistant referees (VAR) and goalline technology introduced, according to a survey of nearly 28,000 supporters.

Goalline technology has been used in Championship matches for two seasons.

The wide-ranging survey for the EFL's 72 clubs asked for feedback on numerous subjects including technology, matchday experience and supporter safety.

Atmosphere and safety were the most important aspects for match goers.

EFL communications director Mark Rowan said the survey showed clubs provide a "positive, inclusive environment", and the "robust" research, which was carried out in January, will help fans improve their matchday experience.

"The results tell us that supporters are engaged, tech-savvy and maintain strong emotional connections to their club and community," he added.

"What's also clear is that supporters from all sections of society generally feel safe, welcome and included."

Goalline technology check
Goalline technology has been used in the Championship in each of the past two seasons

VAR will be used in the Premier League from the start of the 2019-20 season, after clubs agreed to its introduction. It was trialled in some Carabao Cup matches, but has not been used in EFL league competitions.

Almost 60% of respondents who support League One and Two clubs also suggested they would like to see professional referees officiating in those divisions.

The professional "Select Group 2", which contains officials who work primarily in the Championship, was introduced in the 2016-17 season.

Other key points

  • 86% of the 27,854 people who completed the survey were male, although there was a 21% increase in female survey respondents compared to the survey carried out in 2010.
  • 84% of fans have witnessed abusive behaviour in stands, although 86% believe clubs provide a welcoming and inclusive matchday experience.
  • The 2018-19 season saw the highest attendances across the EFL for 60 years.

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