Goal-line technology has been voted the best football innovation of the last 30 years
Goal-line technology has been voted the best football innovation of the last 30 years.
A survey of 2,000 supporters saw the humble instant replay, selected by four in 10 fans, take second place.
Technology that allows referees and their assistants to stay in contact with each other through microphones came third followed by undersoil heating.
VAR, free-kick vanishing spray and the modern football boot are also among the innovations which fans think have improved the game.
However, 47 per cent believe the traditional match-day setup could be updated and modernised further.
The research was commissioned to mark the launch of the latest series of The EE Wembley Cup, where four teams made up from YouTube’s most famous football bloggers and ex-international players will compete for the trophy.
World Cup winners Robert Pirès and David Trezeguet, Brazilian defender Cafu are among those taking part along with ex-Chelsea legend Michael Essien.
Ex-Arsenal star Pirès said: “Recent innovations in football have revolutionised the way we talk about and watch matches.
“I feel like matches have become more exciting and are packed with more action and drama as a result.”
The study also found three quarters of football lovers think technological advances have improved the game overall.
More than half (54 per cent) said it has given them more confidence in a ‘fair result’ at the end of a match and aided referees’ decision-making during games.
A third of British football fans admitted it’s hard to beat live football stadium action, although nearly all respondents still turn to technology for instant replays, match analysis or to watch a goal for a second time.
But almost a third would like to see the transfer window done away with, so teams could buy and sell players at any point throughout the season.
And a quarter believe the current transfer window should also apply to managers, so they could only be replaced at certain points in the season.
Designed for the devoted YouTube generation, the EE Wembley Cup features new rules including Sin Bins and a fast and furious 30 minutes, turning the traditional footballing tournament on its head.
The introduction of the American Football-inspired draft stage will also see captains boost their teams with an international football legend and stars of YouTube’s most talked about teams, with Joe Weller, Sean Garnier, Fifa Manny and Chris MD all featuring.
Pete Jeavons, from EE said: “The EE Wembley Cup is ripping up the rule book for 2018 with some innovative twists and a brand new tournament format.
“One of the most exciting additions to the series is the introduction of a Draft stage.
“Allowing teams to bolster their squads with World Cup winners and global legends is really going to raise the stakes for 2018.
“With the addition of these world class players to the stellar line up of football YouTubers, this year’s EE Wembley Cup will be one to remember.”
* The first episode of The EE Wembley Cup 2018 is now live on Spencer FC’s YouTube channel and EE’s YouTube channel, culminating in a live final at Wembley Stadium connected by EE, on Sunday 25th November 2018 at 2pm
THE TOP 10 FOOTBALL INNOVATIONS OF THE LAST 30 YEARS
1. Goal-line technology
2. Instant replays
3. The refereeing team having microphone connections with each other
4. Undersoil heating
6. HD cameras to broadcast games
7. Vanishing spray
8. The evolution of the football boot
9. The transfer window
10. Electronic performance and tracking systems