Football Perspectives

Analyses of issues surrounding the game on and off the pitch
Andrés Ramírez Hassan, Johnatan Cardona Jiménez
4 April 2014
This article combines betting odds with historical data from previous tournaments to predict outcomes at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. According to the analysis, the most likely semi-final lineup is Brazil v Germany and Uruguay vs Argentina, with Brazil favourite to beat Argentina in the final.
Sam Tomlin
19 March 2014
In 2011, the then UK Sports Minister Hugh Robertson claimed football was the ‘worst governed sport in the UK’ thanks to astronomical club debts and a gross imbalance of power within the FA’s corridors of power. This column presents a report from the CentreForum think tank with recommendations for improving transparency and accountability in the game.
Julio del Corral
17 March 2014
In an update to an earlier article on Football Perspectives, this article compares actual points scored by La Liga teams from 2000/01 to the current season to the bookmakers' predictions. The results reveal that Diego Simeone is the most successful manager in terms of outperforming the expectations of his team.
Antonio Sergio Ribeiro, Francisco Lima
4 March 2014
Moving to a new club can mean playing in a higher or lower division, and moving up or down in the pay hierarchies within clubs. This article uses data from the Portuguese league to examine the effect that changing club and/or division has on both a player's real salary and his relative salary within his team. With clubs spending a significant proportion of their resources on wages, it is important to get their pay structures right to achieve greatest efficiency.
Robbie Butler, David Butler
20 February 2014
Is it often claimed that referees favour teams through the amount of additional time played at the end of a matches. This article uses data on scorelines and additional time played from 380 EPL matches to test whether referees demonstrate favouritism towards home teams and towards the 'big' clubs.
Kenji Miyazaki
11 February 2014
Using the FIFA World Rankings as an indicator of the strength of national teams, this article investigates the effect of 'technology transfer' in football and asks whether having more players in top-level leagues improves the national team. It finds that Asian national teams in particular benefit from having their players play in top-level leagues abroad.
Simon Chadwick
10 February 2014
This article presents the results of a survey of nearly 16,000 football fans from across China asking them to identify their favourite club and national teams, as well as their favourite league. Arsenal was the most popular club amongst the fans, Germany the most popular national team, and the English Premier League the most popular league.
Vladimir Hlasny, Sascha Kolaric
7 February 2014
This article uses data on yellow and red cards and penalties awarded from 27,449 English league matches over 13 seasons to investigate whether referees' familiarity with teams results in bias. The authors found that the strength of a referee's "bond" to a team - either through number of matches refereed or proximity to their home town - does appear to affect their on-pitch decisions.
Christoph G. Grimmer
6 February 2014
Extensive live coverage of football matches and the use of new media to disseminate comment and information, by both clubs and the press, has changed the relationship between club's PR departments and journalists. This article uses a survey of print journalists covering Bundesliga clubs to examine their perceptions of the role of official spokespersons.
Marcelo Robalinho
3 February 2014
Third party ownership has generated a lot of negative press recently, in particular in relation to the transfer of Neymar from Santos to Barcelona, but does TPO deserve its bad reputation? This article argues that many people, even within the world of football, do not understand the mechanism and its limitations. It focuses on one situation where TPO is often incorrectly cited - free agents.

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