Of course those who pay for the game have no choice: football is called off




By Tony Attwood

I’m not trying to argue that calling the matches off this weekend is right or wrong, but rather as with virtually everything in football, the vast majority of us who make the game what it is – the fans who go to the matches each week – have no say and no control.   The games are off, change your plans.  If that’s inconvenient, tough.

And because we are supporters not customers, all we can do is accept it and wait.  Although come to think of it we can also complain.  Not just about this, but every other change that is made without bothering to ask us what we feel.

And maybe you feel that stopping football as a mark of respect is a good thing to do.  Obviously, it is a matter of one’s personal feelings.   I don’t feel any more or less respect for my country’s leaders by not having an Arsenal game to go to, than I would by being able to go, so it seems irrelevant to me and just an inconvenience.

Plus this weekend’s removal of games is not the only thing.   The funeral will be next weekend, so there will be another move to scrap the games then.  And we are approaching the world cup finals so there is another pause then.   We’ll either be playing two games a week or else the season will run into the summer.

And here is another thing.  There is a serious shortage of police officers in London, so there could be a call for games to be called off, because the police can’t sit in their vehicles outside the ground in case of any difficulties.

Anyway, the normal things are not there to talk about, so we thought we’d play with some numbers and look for insights we have not had before.

In this table below we take the market value of the club as given by TransferMarkt and the place in the league at this moment.   If the notion that buying players takes a club up the league works, then the league position should generally be similar to the position in the market value list.

To make this easier to see, the table below is in player market value.  In this table we can see if the clubs are higher up the league than they would be if money equalled success, or indeed lower.


club Total market value Market Value Pos Lge pos Difference
£937.17m 1 2 -1
£794.70m 2 7 -5
£718.65m 3 6 -3
£675.27m 4 5 -1
£591.57m 5 3 +2
£554.85m 6 1 +5
£468.54m 7 17 -10
£430.47m 8 20 -12
£389.25m 9 18 -9
£366.98m 10 16 -6
£325.67m 11 14 -3
£320.67m 12 11 +1
£255.24m 13 8 +5
£241.20m 14 15 -1
£237.42m 15 9 +6
£232.38m 16 19 -3
£218.57m 17 12 +5
£217.53m 18 4 +14
£199.80m 19 10 +9
£150.66m 20 13 +7


What we find is that the clubs that are much lower in position than we might expect from the amount spent (ie those that are five or more places lower than we would expect from the amount of money spent) are those that have spent the most.

Those who are five or more places above where we would expect if we just took how much they have spent are those that have spent the least.

Of course, clubs spending the least are still spending lots of money but the achievements of Leeds, Southampton, Brighton, Fulham and Bournemouth are surely to be praised in getting themselves much higher up the league than a measure of their expenditure suggests.

The club that has really got it wrong is Liverpool who have spent the second largest amount on their squad across the years but have found themselves five places lower than we might expect.

West Ham, Aston Villa and Leicester are the clubs that have really got things wrong, at least thus far in the season, spending vast amounts and going down the league table.

Of course, we are not that far through the season, and things could change.  These players that the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea have bought across the seasons could now start to deliver.

We shall see in due course. But meanwhile there is support here for the suggestion that spending more and  more money on players does not automatically lift a club up the table.


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