Globalisation, Market Value and Cultural Diversity and the Predictability of Football Leagues

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 10:30 AM
Room: 412
Oral Presentation
Jurgen GERHARDS , Free University Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Michael MUTZ , Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany

Processes of globalisation have changed the nature of professional football in two different ways. Firstly, football clubs revenues’ from different sources have multiplied over the past decades. Today’s football clubs need to be regarded as commercialized globally operating companies. Secondly, football clubs have been attracting foreign players to sign for their teams, leaving only little room for recruiting exclusively from own national ranks. Hence, teams have become more multinational.

This paper examines the extent to which such processes impact on a team’s success. 1) Due to commercialisation processes, the market value of a football club has become the decisive factor in determining their chances of success. The market value of a club is defined and measured as the sum of the market value of each individual player on the team. The higher a club’s overall market value, the more likely their success. 2) The increasing multinationality of football teams influences their chances of success negatively, because coordination within the team might become more difficult to realise. At the same time, however, multinationality can also have positive effects on their performance because players from different countries bring new techniques and qualities that can complement the already existing ones.

We have collected and statistically analysed data from the 12 most successful European football leagues, yielding the following results: 1) A team’s market value has a very strong (positive) influence on their success rate – indeed, ‘money scores goals’ as it seems.  2) Only to some degree does the multinational composition of a team determine their success. Teams that are composed of some players from different national backgrounds perform better, on average, than nationally more homogeneous teams. However, the direction of association is reversed when there are players from many different nationalities – multinationality, then, influences a team’s chances of success negatively.