I arrived home late Saturday night from the Sloan MIT Sports Analytics Conference in Boston (which you’ll be hearing about later on this blog), and on Sunday I thought it would be helpful to give my significant other a window in the basic idea of sports analytics by watching the kind-of-inaccurate-though-illustrative film Moneyball.
There’s a scene toward the end of the movie where Brad Pitt is approached by Fenway Sports Group principle owner John Henry about becoming the GM for the Red Sox. Henry is a sabermetrics true believer, and wants Beane to mirror his relative success with the A’s in Boston. This moment hints at the future wide adaptation of sports analytics in baseball, which has since erased much of the first mover ‘Moneyball’ effect. The final frames of the film remind the audience the Red Sox would go on to win their first World Series since 1918 two years later. You see? It worked.
And so to demonstrate the relative state of analytics in the football world, since FSG’s purchase of Liverpool FC in 2010, the team has finished 6th and 8th in the following two seasons. Today, the club is in 7th place, 10 points out from the final Champions League qualification spot.
There are some encouraging signs the club’s fortunes may be on the mend—the club was hurt by an unluckily low shot and save percentages in the last two seasons yet now seems to be on a relative uptick—but the bill in getting the club to its present position has come in and it doesn’t look good. From the Guardian:
Liverpool have reported a £21.8m increase in their debt – now £87.2m overall – and a loss of £40.5m in their annual accounts. A restructuring of their accounting period to align it with the football season means that the figures apply to the 10 months between 1 August 2011 to 31 May 2012.
They show that although commercial revenue increased, so did the club’s overall liabilities. However, the club’s managing director, Ian Ayre, played down the significance of a rise in debt levels. “It’s definitely not something I believe anyone should be worried or concerned about. It is seasonal – our debt goes up and down,” he told the Liverpool Echo. “We have money to pay out and money coming in, just like any business.
Ayre of course is correct, but sustained competitive and commercial revenues will only grow with solid success. A speeding up of the continued slow progress of football analytics may continue to help Liverpool overcome the disastrous Comolli era, and it can’t come soon enough…
AVB says Arsenal is in a very negative place right now.
Liverpool’s debt increases.
Rooney pumped for second leg of CL last 16.
Jones misses training session, remains a doubt against Madrid.
Capello says Cassano doesn’t know his limits, it’s either his way or the highway.
“I’ll retire when I beat his record.” -Francesco Totti on seeking to surpass Piola’s goal-tally.
Alba confident Barcelona will overcome current slump.
Simeone to sign a four-year contract with Atletico Madrid this week.
The South Korean who has taken the Bundesliga by storm.
Heynckes very impressed with his side.
Bit and Bobs
How to stop Ronaldo? Here’s a tip, “don’t kick him” or “you’ll make him angry”.
Cech asks Arsenal if they would rather have 10 managers and 6 trophies or one manager and next to no silverware?
Thanks to Alima Hotakie for compiling today’s links.