Former Arsenal chief David Dein calls for football to move to 60 minute matches with stop-clock and says he has backing of referees

    Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein has called for football matches to be reduced from 90 to 60 minutes.

    Dein joined talkSPORT to discuss his proposals to make games two 30 minutes halves, with a stop-clock.

    Dein wants football matches to be 60 minutes long, with a stop-clock

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    Dein wants football matches to be 60 minutes long, with a stop-clock

    The average time the ball is in play in the Premier League is just 55 minutes and there are plenty inconsistencies around time-keeping.

    The least amount of time the ball has been in play in the Premier League is just 39 minutes and one second, in a match between Blackburn and Stoke in 2010.

    “I’ve fought all my life in football for accuracy and integrity,” Dein told talkSPORT. “The one thing that is lacking at the present moment when we are talking about accuracy is time keeping. 

    “Whereas we brought it into other parts of the game, you may remember we started years ago with the ten yard spray and everyone was worrying whether that would work and it did cut out an element of cheating in the game. 

    “We then went to goal line technology and everyone thought it would only be used once or twice.

    “You saw it working the other day in Brentford vs Liverpool when Wissa scored a goal – it was goal line technology that captured that. 

    Referees would be happy to not be in control of time-keeping, according to Dein

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    Referees would be happy to not be in control of time-keeping, according to Dein

    “VAR now giving more accuracy in the game. The one area that is still lacking is the attention to time keeping.”

    The issue of added-time in games came to the forefront at the World Cup, when we regularly saw an additional ten to 15 minutes played.

    Dein says he has been banging the drum of making changes for some time and says he has had discussions with FIFA and also has the backing of referees.

    He said: “I’m talking to all the FIFA officials, they know where it is at, I have made presentations to them.

    “Slowly, but surely, we will get it on the agenda. The next thing I would like is to see it trialled in a junior tournament and see how it goes.

    Referees at the World Cup were adding more time on at the end of games

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    Referees at the World Cup were adding more time on at the end of games

    “The referees are the busiest men on the pitch. If you ask any referee, they don’t want to keep the time any more. They don’t need to. They’ve got too much, they are managing a game of football.

    “The last two or three minutes can be very important to the game. It was very refreshing to see at the World Cup that FIFA, to their great credit, decided to add additional time, the proper time, on to the end of the game.”

    On his talks with referees, he added: “The first questions I’ve asked the referees is ‘can you be accurate to the last ten seconds?’ Answer: No.

    “Second question, do you agree when the fourth official puts up the board for additional time, it’s based on guess work? Answer: Our description is that it is based on estimates, but it is not accurate and very difficult to be consistent.

    Dein was Arsenal vice-chairman between 1983 and 2007

    Getty

    Dein was Arsenal vice-chairman between 1983 and 2007

    “America put a man on the moon in 1969 and we can’t keep the time of a game. 

    “I also asked them, would you have any objection to time keeping not being your responsibility? Answer: No. 

    “It would allow the referee to further concentrate on the game. Game, set and match.”

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