By Keith Hackett

18th Jun, 2022 | 1:30pm

Ex-Fifa official: Authorities told to intervene after worst-in-Premier League Aston Villa reveal

Keith Hackett has called on the Premier League to intervene after it was revealed the ball was in play for just 52minutes and 35seconds of Aston Villa games in the 2021-22 season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee called on the authorities to bring in an independent timekeeper.

According to Opta, via the Daily Mail on Monday (13 June), the time the ball was in play in the Premier League ni the 2021-22 season was the lowest in 10 years and Aston Villa were the worst offender.

It comes after IFAB discussed various measures to combat timewasting at their annual general meeting on Monday.

That includes semi-automated offsides and replacing kick-ins with throw-ins.

“On this, I think it’s a job that referees are not doing well,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

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“I think there’s a bit of guessing. Now they are bringing in five substitutions it makes life even more difficult.

“At the top level, the elite level an independent timekeeper is needed.

“With Aston Villa, it shows where the game is going and it also shows that if, as a team, you are having a poor time, and are playing a team at the top, like Man City who have the most playing time, you think ‘Let’s delay everything, let’s delay throw-ins, let’s delay free-kicks’.

“The Premier League has got to address it. That is done by referees becoming more efficient at time-keeping.

“Perhaps the influence of the Premier League, through its owners and its managers can try and create a more active and open style of play.

“They will be reluctant to bring in an independent time-keeper but it’s heading that way.”

In other news, a finance guru has revealed Aston Villa are ahead of the curve as a seven-year deal is struck.