David Martindale verdict as Livingston count cost of VAR on playing budget

Livingston boss David Martindale is delighted by the introduction of VAR to Scottish football – even though it has curtailed his playing budget.

Hibernian's clash with St Johnstone at Easter Road on Friday week will be the first match to use the system. Livi's first experience of the Video Assistant Referee comes the following day when they travel to Ibrox to play Rangers and although the West Lothian club have had to chip in £80,000 to help implement the system, Martindale is a happy man.

Ahead of the visit of St Johnstone in the cinch Premiership on Saturday, he said: “I cannot wait. I am genuinely looking forward to it. There have been two huge decisions that went against us in 10 games. A penalty against us at Motherwell lost us points and there was a sending-off on Saturday 21 minutes into the game – if VAR had been there Ross County would have played 70-plus minutes with 10 men.

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“When VAR comes in they will get the majority of those decisions correct. There is going to be a bit of a debate, but if we can increase the positivity in the decisions by 10 per cent I think it is a win-win for everybody.

Referees receiving VAR training at Hampden Park. The system will be introduced to the Premiership next weekend. Picture: Alan Harvey / SNS

“Me and the club are looking forward to it. VAR has cost the club in the region of £80,000 for this season. That's two players. It comes off a budget that wasn't great in the first place, but we were more than willing to spend that money.”