Football Perspectives

Analyses of issues surrounding the game on and off the pitch
Rosa Lombardi, Raffaele Trequattrini
10 July 2014
This article gives an overview of FIFA's and UEFA's regulations on third-party ownership of players. It argues that TPO can offer some benefits such as funding the development of young players from developing countries, but national federations and the international organisations need to harmonise their regulations.
Loek Groot
7 July 2014
Adidas, Nike and Puma are the major kit suppliers for teams playing at the World Cup. Adidas has been the most successful recently, with a team in each of the last four finals, but none of these four finals was contested by two teams with the same supplier. This article describes how, if the 2014 World Cup in Brazil follows the same pattern, the final will either be Brazil vs Argentina or Germany vs the Netherlands.
Anthony Constantinou, Norman Fenton, Liam Pollock
4 July 2014
Home teams being awarded more penalties is often seen as evidence of a home bias in football. This article considers factors - such as possession, time spent in the opposition's penalty area and pass accuracy - when analysing penalties awarded in the Premier League. In many cases, any apparent home bias can be explained away by these factors. Some teams do still appear to benefit, with the two Manchester clubs benefiting most.
Joel Rookwood
28 June 2014
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is entering its knock-out stages. This article examines the relatively recent phenomenon of Fan Parks, free football 'festivals' staged in temporary locations within host cities, and offers a firsthand report from the Fan Park in Rio.
Jan van Ours, Martin van Tuijl
17 June 2014
This article studies the achievements of the national teams of Belgium, Brazil, England, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands since 1960. It finds that while home advantage, skill, and luck play their part, in the dying moments of a game national identity can step forward as well.
Joaquim Teixeira, Nuno Santos, Paulo Mourão
10 June 2014
This article looks at the factors that determine competitive balance in football competitions, including the number of teams, the reward structure, home advantage and the influence of referees. Using an Excel template to examine the effects of different combinations of these parameters, the authors discover that the system of 2 points for a win and 1 point for a draw results in the most balanced competition.
Martin Müller
2 June 2014
With the eyes of the world on Brazil and it's race to have stadiums ready in time for the 2014 World Cup against a background of protests against the costs, this article looks at trouble brewing in the host country of the next World Cup. Escalating stadium costs look set to make the 2018 Word Cup in Russia the most expensive ever, with a cost-per seat roughly four times that of the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
Loek Groot, Bastian Westbrock
2 June 2014
Debate over which is the toughest group at the 2014 Word Cup has been raging since the draw in December. Instead of looking at the flawed FIFA rankings that were used for the seeding of the draw, this article uses the Elo ratings to assess which is the strongest group. The teams in Group B, headed by Spain, have the highest average Elo rating of all eight groups, while the top three teams in England's Group D are more evenly matched than the top three teams in any other group.
David Buckwell
29 May 2014
As part of the strategy to develop home-grown talent in English football, the Elite Player Performance Plan places an emphasis on the need for an elite environment within academies to ensure that players prosper. This article reveals the perceptions of both the players and the coach at a Category 3 academy on how various aspects of the environment influence performance.
Sue Bridgewater
28 May 2014
This article looks at patterns of dismissals and resignations of managers in the English football league over the past seasons, and at the impact of this season's managerial changes in the Premier League on the performance of the clubs concerned.