Our view

The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future
DANIEL KAHNEMAN – Author of Thinking, Fast and Slow

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Changing the Conversation
21st Club presents a collection of insights for football club boardrooms

Changing the Conversation

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  • 21 Sep 2017

    The football exchange rate

    Football’s global reach means the sport is uniquely positioned as having many high-quality leagues dotted around the world. Therefore unlike in the NBA or NFL - which are effectively closed leagues - understanding how performance translates across leagues is one of the single biggest challenges a club can face.This is particularly true when looking […]
  • 14 Sep 2017

    Bean bags and sleeping pods

    The ultimate goal for any company - in or outside of football - is to achieve the highest possible returns for the lowest possible cost. A key factor in delivering this has been the ability to attract and retain better talent than your competitors.  This is perhaps more true of sport than any other industry […]
  • 07 Sep 2017

    High-frequency trading

    As the dust settles from another chaotic transfer period, it’s important to assess how things went during the window. While it may take some time to evaluate our new signings, it is possible to evaluate our processes: the steps that led to all the bids, negotiations, and deals done.In our own review of the […]
  • 31 Aug 2017

    The rule of thumb

    Following the 2008 financial crash, Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane looked into what factors caused the crisis. He discovered that breaching the regulations set out in Basel II - a complex 347-page document that attempted to ensure banks remained safe - proved a less effective predictor of failure than a crude rule of […]
  • 24 Aug 2017

    Got, expected, deserved, need

    During the early stages of the season, when the league table often lies, it can be easy to over- or underreact to results. As such, it helps to have some objective information on how the season has and might progress.We recommend focusing on four key metrics:How many points have we got? (Points per game) How many […]
  • 17 Aug 2017

    Everything else is just noise

    Thinking clearly under pressure was one of Sir Clive Woodward's favourite mantras as coach of England's 2003 Rugby World Cup-winning side. In order to ensure his players were able to make the right calls when the heat was on, Woodward sought to recreate pressurised scenarios so that his team had already practised the thought processes […]
  • 10 Aug 2017

    The point of Neymar

    As European football restarts after the summer break, club's’ performance expectations have been realigned based on the extent of their offseason spending.While it is true that signings can often have a significant impact on a team, the points value of a new signing is generally overstated. One of the reasons for this is that league […]
  • 03 Aug 2017

    The value of Lukaku

    As an industry, one of our biggest challenges is determining value in the transfer market. Valuations are often done on gut feel, or skewed by recent deals (which in turn are often done on gut feel, and so on). We also know that having a smart starting point can have a strong impact on the […]
  • 19 Jul 2017

    The realistic recruiter

    Signing new players represents one of the biggest opportunities to move the needle in football, regardless of our club’s size and stature. It also carries a huge risk: the cost of getting it wrong.Fans and other stakeholders expect new signings to make an instant impact, yet they often fail to become core players in […]