Football and pizza

An unlikely combination. Unless you’re watching a big match on the TV at home amongst friends of course. Which I’m not. Instead I’m about 30,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, gaining hours and reflecting on a previous trip to the US this year. I’m also thinking about football; my head full of Continue reading

The leader’s abundance dilemma

One of the biggest challenges that business leaders face is how to transition from an organisation with modest resources to a larger one with abundant means. Typically the situation arises when an executive with a successful track record is hired by a larger company, or Continue reading

Football finance in numbers – infographic

The Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance 2013 is now available, and the kind folks @Deloitte have created this fantastic infographic to visualise some of the highlights…

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A leader’s framework for decision-making in football

Something different this month: a guest post from Simon Wilson of Manchester City Football Club.

Simon was one of the original trailblazers in performance analysis, and has since developed into one of the foremost leaders in his field – as City’s strategic performance manager.

I recently saw Simon present at an analytics event in London and he kindly agreed to editorialise his presentation, which – in a world now engrossed with the ‘big data’ movement – offered a cautionary note about its application in football.

More importantly Simon presented a leader’s framework for future decision-making in our beloved game…

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A simple solution to an age-old problem

In a week that saw Bayern and Dortmund brush aside Spanish giants Barcelona and Real and all but secure an all-German Champions League final, the topic of player development has inevitably resurfaced.

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Redefining the Player Leadership Paradigm in Football

Last month, tributes came flooding in for Bobby Moore, as the football world paid homage to one of football’s greatest ever players on the 20th anniversary of his passing. Moore of course led England to World Cup success on home soil in 1966 and Bobby Charlton recently described Moore as “a born captain, a leader”.

I’ve only ever had the pleasure of watching (on video) Moore play one game – the ’66 Final against Germany (more on that in just a moment) – but it seems to me that Continue reading

Financial Fair Play-ing Field?

Earlier this month, Deportivo La Coruña became the latest club to enter administration after failing to reach an agreement with the Spanish tax authorities and with the struggling La Liga club revealing that it had debts of nearly €100 million. It was another stark reminder of the financial fragility that pervades football today and how quickly a club’s fortunes can turn sour.

Even the younger generation of fans will Continue reading

The Future Game: Adapt or Die

Howard Wilkinson has always been one to push the envelope when it comes to innovation in football. As we set up base at St George’s Park (The FA’s National Football Centre which Howard himself first proposed nearly 15 years ago) to discuss the future of the game, he’s at it again:

“So,” he begins his challenge “if the passing success rate in the Premier League 10 years ago was 74% and now it’s 86%… in another 10 years time, we’ll have a perfect passing game?!” Continue reading

The January Transfer Window is Here… So Sit Back and Relax – Part II

In Part I, I outlined some of the challenges inherent to recruiting players during the January window, and promised to offer some suggestions around how the application of data can enhance the task.

So here are a few ideas, and perhaps an insight into some of the work already being undertaken by the Technical Scouts. Continue reading