Handbook on the Economics of Professional Football
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Handbook on the Economics of Professional Football

Edited by John Goddard and Peter Sloane

In this comprehensive Handbook, John Goddard and Peter Sloane present a collection of analytical contributions by internationally regarded scholars in the field, which extensively examine the many economic challenges facing the world's most popular team sport.
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Chapter 10: Team performance: production and efficiency in football

Fiona Carmichael and Dennis Thomas


Within the economic laboratory of team sport, production functions and frontiers have shown themselves to be particularly versatile and productive pieces of analytical equipment. Their application has been enabled and facilitated by the availability of extensive, increasingly accessible and relatively consistent and unambiguous information on a range of input and output variables covering clubs, and team, player and managerial characteristics and performance, both absolute and relative, within matches, over seasonal competitions, for concentrated tournaments, and over time. The estimation of production functions in any sport enables the examination of team playing success or failure, and can help identify those areas in which a team’s opportunities for improvement rely. By indicating the contribution of particular tactics and individual players to team success/failure a production function analysis can inform team selection and its management and coaching in terms of preparation and tactical decisions within a match or over a tournament or league season, as well as changing squad requirements and player purchases during a season and in the longer term. Additionally, associated production frontier analyses and efficiency measurements enable assessment of whether clubs and teams make best and effective use of their resources – both financial and sporting – compared to their potential.

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