I’m so late to the ‘Soccernomics’ party
I picked up Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski’s “Soccernomics” earlier this week. Given that it carries a bestseller sticker on the front, I’m pretty sure a lot of people have already read it, but in just the first three or so chapters, I’ve already found a lot of stuff that gave me pause given current soccer events I’m following. They are:
1. Soccer clubs “run like businesses” tend to fail. This really caught me in light of the recent USSF standards for second division clubs that essentially say, “We won’t allow owners who aren’t prepared to lose some money.”
2. The eight points of an English World Cup cycle played out exactly as Kuper and Szymanski said they would, right down to the scapegoats for failure and the refs missing calls and having their motives questioned. I might have made a lot of cash gambling if I’d actually read this book when it came out.
3. Bob Bradley is being linked to the Aston Villa post, but one of the criticisms of him is that he has no understanding of the international transfer market. The authors would actually argue that this makes no difference.
If you haven’t read “Soccernomics,” I highly recommend it. I’m also on the lookout for similar books analyzing the game, so if you know of any, I’d appreciate a reading list.