There is a lot that we can learn from seeing how the same challenges are faced and resolved in a different context. We often look to other industries to identify whether there are any approaches that may be applied to football.
An asset management company when hiring an fund manager, for example, will seek out a […]
As a football industry we’ve been trying harder and harder in recent years to find ‘undervalued talent’, with mixed success.
Broadly, there are two approaches we can take. The first is bottom-up; finding traits or actions that our competitors dismiss, but actually tells us more about a player. For example, valuing the quality and quantity of […]
Ajax’s impressive run to the Europa League final alerted clubs across Europe to the potential of the young players in their squad, and suggested to many that they had the temperament as well as the skill to compete in bigger leagues.
While clubs have access to video as well as the ability to watch Ajax’s players […]
In an ideal world we would scout every footballer on the planet and have full knowledge of each player’s suitability for our club. However, limited resources mean we have to strike a compromise between the breadth and depth of our search:
Prioritise breadth: by scouting many players, we reduce the risk of missing out on talent, […]
Player recruitment is a process that should ideally combine objectivity and subjectivity. Both aspects, however, should regularly come under suitable scrutiny and review: we should question whether we are looking at the right data, and we should question the predictions of our scouts.
While the former can require detailed statistical checks, the latter needn’t be an […]
The January transfer window is often a period of opportunism and seeking a short-term fix. The ability to bring players in can depend on a whole range of factors, including costs elsewhere in the squad, the seller’s appetite to sell, payment terms, and so on.
The market conditions play a role, too; it’s useful to know […]
Just like people tend to believe that the country they live in is better than most, we tend to overestimate the relative strength of our own league, and so overlook transfer targets who could improve our squad. There’s a reason why players bought from strong clubs tend to be more successful at their new club. […]
Implicit in all the decisions around player trading and youth promotion is a prediction about the depth of squad needed to compete during the season. Some clubs hope to go deep in all competitions, others are content at prioritising the league.
Given the average footballer’s annual pay is a deeply material cost to the club, it […]
September always brings a certain tranquility to the world of football when juxtaposed against the annual melee of deadline day. As the clock runs down on August, buying clubs rush to bolster their squad while selling clubs look to offload their expensive, unproductive assets. Indeed, since 2010 a remarkable 18% of business in the Premier […]
With less than two weeks until the transfer window closes, boardrooms are increasingly required to make quick decisions under pressure.
In this environment, we often try to evaluate complex choices by relying on small pieces of simple information. In some cases, this can be useful – last year we encouraged clubs to ‘make three rules’ as […]