Did referees want Liverpool to win the league?

Last season Liverpool, a storied soccer club that hasn’t won England’s top division since 1990, was in the race for the title down to the final day. Having finished seventh the previous campaign, everything was finally going right – but did the referees have anything to do with it? Liverpool certainly had plenty of English fans, regardless of their favorite team, rooting for them to unseat the league’s recent powerhouses. Their dogged captain, Steven Gerrard, supplied a fiery passion to the team, and the effervescent talents of Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, and Luis Suárez provided the goals. As Liverpool’s mainly…
Read more →

Managing the player portfolio

Recently I posted an NYA presentation on player contributions to cash flow that outlined how players could be viewed as capital assets. In part because of the recent interest in work by Howard Hamilton and Tom Worville, I’ve decided to post portions of an earlier presentation on managing the player portfolio. Portfolio management is a field that many people dabble in as individual investors and a few people take to sophisticated extremes as professionals. You don’t have to use the fanciest quantitative models to be a successful manager, though. A few basic insights and tools can greatly enhance the health…
Read more →

What went wrong for Wigan?

It’s not hard to see why Wigan Athletic suffered relegation at the end of the 2012-13 English Premier League season. If a club gives up 73 goals, as Wigan did, chances are it’s going down. In fact, since the league went to 20 teams, every single one that conceded 73 times or more was relegated. But why did Wigan leak goals like a sieve? I ask this question because Wigan’s then-coach, Roberto Martínez, has been running into defensive problems at Everton, too. It’s also an interesting question because, by at least a few popular statistics, Wigan didn’t look that bad….
Read more →

1 2