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strategy

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  • 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 […]

  • 20 Apr 2017

    Rating our scouts

    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 […]

  • 06 Apr 2017

    The impact manager

    We know from our research that, in the long run, managerial changes on average make little difference to the performance of a team. That isn’t to say, however, that smart hires can’t turn a struggling team around.

    When we look through our database of managers who did improve performance in their first 20 matches in charge, […]

  • 29 Mar 2017

    The distant GM

    The ability to remain objective and view information dispassionately is central to any robust decision-making process. At 21st Club we frequently expound the benefits of getting an ‘outside view’ when setting strategic objectives or making other major decisions. But what if clubs went further and more fully incorporated the role of ‘the outsider’ into their […]

  • 09 Feb 2017

    Controlling the uncontrollable

    It is an unarguable fact that we can win or lose football matches due to factors that are outside of our control. We exert significant influence on results through, for example, team selection, motivation and sound coaching but on any given day we can only leave marginal penalty calls, the opposition keeper’s performance and that […]

  • 20 Oct 2016

    How to win on Saturday

    When we refer to ‘strategy’ in football, we normally think of processes where the results may not materialise for months or even years. A club’s strategy might seek to exploit inefficiencies in the transfer market or youth development, for example.

    A football club boardroom can however also focus on strategies that will help the team […]

  • 06 Oct 2016

    Help me, help you

    Rod Tidwell stands naked, his inquisitive look the reaction to the imploring face of his agent, Jerry Maguire.  “Help me, help you” Maguire repeats, over and over, his red face framing the exasperation in his eyes.  Help me, help you.

    This is the seminal moment in the film, Jerry Maguire.  The moment where Tidwell, played by […]