Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

Liverpool and Man City eye 105 goals to top Spurs ’61 vintage record per game

Friday, April 18th, 2014

By Brian Sears

18 April 2014

The most thrilling English title race in decades has been made all the more sumptuous by the free-scoring exploits of Liverpool and Manchester City – and both clubs still have a post-war scoring record in sight.

The record is the number of league goals per game in a post-war top-flight season in England, held by Bill Nicholson’s marvelous Tottenham side of 1960-61, who scored an astonishing 115 goals in 42 games, at 2.74 goals per game (or, to be precise, 2.738 goals per game). Spurs’s top league scorer that season was England’s Bobby Smith, with 28, but Les Allen also got 22, Welsh wing wizard Cliff Jones netted 15 and two other players were in double figures, John White (13) and Terry Dyson (12).

The graphic below shows the top-scorer team in the top division every season, post-war, as well as every team who scored 100 or more in a league season. (Fifteen teams have scored 100 goals or more in 67 post-war seasons).

Liverpool are on track to match Tottenham’s record. They have 93 goals in 34 games (2.735 per game) and need 12 more from four games to beat Tottenham’s GPG record. Liverpool’s four remaining games are against Norwich, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Newcastle.

City have scored 88 goals in 33 games and need 17 from five games to beat Tottenham’s mark. Their remaining games are against West Brom, Palace, Everton, Villa and West Ham.

The Premier League record for a season is Chelsea’s 103 goals from four seasons ago.

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Post-war Eng most goals top div

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Across the Premier League as a whole this season, each game on average (with 2.76 goals per game) is producing only slightly more on average than Liverpool each time they play alone! But actually 2.76 goals per game is good; only in five Premier League seasons has this average been bettered.

If the rates of scoring had not started to slowly this season, the campaign would be on course for a divisional record haul. But for the whole Premier League to beat the 1,066 record goals total of two seasons ago, 136 goals would be required from the last 43 games at the improbable but not impossible rate of 3.16 goals a game.

Here are the month by month goal scoring statistics to show how this season has developed:

PL 2013-14 scoring by month

 

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REVEALED: Man City, Yankees, Dodgers, RM, Barca best paid in global sport

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

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By Nick Harris

15 April 2014Money Issue 2014 cover

Manchester City are the best paid team in global sport according to Sportingintelligence’s Global Sports Salaries Survey (GSSS) for 2014, compiled in association with ESPN The Magazine and published this week to coincide with The Magazine’s ‘Money Issue‘ (right, hitting newsstands this week).

The average first-team pay at City has been calculated at £5.3m per year, or £102,653 per week in the period under review. The New York Yankees and LA Dodgers of Major League baseball are second and third with Spanish football giants Real Madrid and Barcelona filling the top five.

GSSS 2014 top 12Five Premier League sides make the top 20 on the list, with Liverpool – who were 3-2 winners in the Premier League against City at Anfield on Sunday  - in 20th place, earning an average of £3.4m per man per year.  Manchester United are at No8 on £4.3m per man per year, Champions League semi-finalists Chelsea are at No10 (nearly £4m) and Arsenal are at No11 (£3.9m). The top 10 also includes the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA (at No6), Bayern Munich (No7), and the Chicago Bulls of the NBA (No9).

Sheikh Mansour and Roman Abramovich are billionaires who have transformed City and Chelsea but England is not the only country where sugar-daddy owners are transforming teams. The Brooklyn Nets were bought in 2010 by one of Abramovich’s fellow Russian billionaires, Mikhail Prokhorov.

Not only is Prokhorov footing the Nets’ $102m total payroll in 2013-14, or $6.8m (£4.5m) per player this year, but he will need to pay an additional $70m (around £42m) or thereabouts in luxury tax for exceeding the NBA’s wage cap.

The GSSS looks solely at earnings for playing sport, not for endorsements or other extra-curricular activities. The 2014 report considers 294 teams in 15 leagues in 12 countries across seven different sports: football, baseball, basketball, gridiron, cricket, ice hockey and Aussie Rules football. The report looks at numbers from either current or most recently completed seasons, depending on availability of accounts and other information.

The NBA is the highest-paying league as a whole, with 441 players at 30 teams in the 2013-14 season earning an average of £2.98m per year each. The Premier League is the best paying football league in the world, with the average annual pay at £2.27m per player.

To see the top 12 teams in detail, click on the graphic (left) to enlarge it. The whole list as well as supplementary tables and analysis are in the full GSSS 2014 (cover, below right).

The salaries report features average salary information from the dozen most popular sports leagues in the world (by average attendance per game), which are the NFL, Bundesliga, Premier League, AFL, MLB,  La Liga, CFL, NPB, Serie A, IPL, NHL and NBA. In addition, MLS, SPL and CSL (Chinese Super League football, new this year) are included as examples of smaller leagues from the world’s most popular sport, football.

Figures used are from the 2013-14 seasons in NBA basketball, NHL ice hockey and NFL American football, from the 2014 seasons for MLB baseball and MLS football, and from the seasons completed during or at the end of 2013 for the other leagues. GSSS 2014 cover

This is the fifth edition of Sportingintelligence‘s review of global pay in team sport and this year’s report includes a section detailing the 100 teams who have paid the most money per average first-team player over five years. Barcelona top this list; with a ‘typical’ player at the Nou Camp earning £24,995,540 over the five seasons of the survey.

The eye-watering sums on offer in elite European football and in the major sports leagues of America effectively mean that a single five-year deal should provide enough money to set up a player for life. Real Madrid have the next highest five-year total: £24.4m per player on average, followed by the Yankees (£23.6m), then City (£20.8m) and Chelsea (£20.4m).

The top 20 in the five-year table are in the graphic below, extracted from the full report. Note that the amounts in the graphic are dollars.

The five-year earnings list highlight some counter-intuitive findings, including how relatively poorly the average player in the NFL in America is paid. (The operative word is relatively). There is a general perception that NFL stars, in an industry awash with cash, all earn bumper pay packets. The reality is a few players on each team earn huge money but many earn ‘only’ hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.

As a result, the best paid NFL team over five years, the Dallas Cowboys, appear only at No93 in the five-year list, with an average player earning ‘only’ £7.8m over five years. The Cowboys are one place below Everton (£7.87m over five years per average player) and 20 places lower than the best paying NHL ice-hockey team, the Chicago Blackhawks (£9.1m per average player over five years).

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GSSS 2014 made for life

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Back in the 2014 list, US teams from MLB and the NBA fill 11 places among the top 20; with the New York Knicks, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox, Miami Heat, San Francisco Giants and LA Lakers all featuring.

The Lakers have taken a tumble from No7 down to No19, principally because two high-earning players in 2012-13 left and were not replaced with expensive names. The losses of Dwight Howard (free agency move) and Metta World Peace (waived) helped to take to payroll from $101m down to $78m, and the average Lakers salary fell from $6.3m to $5.2m.

The highest earning NFL team does not make an appearance until No115 on the list, where the Minnesota Vikings players earned $2.3m on average in the 2013 season that ended with the 2014 Super Bowl. The best place NHL team, the Chicago Blackhawks, are at No76 on nearly $3m per man per year.

The biggest pay increase year-on-year in percentage terms (average salary) is at Toronto FC, where a 256 per cent increase in average salary to almost $600,000 per player per year is largely down to signing marquee names who were playing in Europe, notably England international star Jermain Defoe, midfielder Michael Bradley and Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar (the latter albeit on loan).

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Four wins in 35: Man City’s PL record at Liverpool, Palace and Everton – combined

Friday, April 11th, 2014

By Brian Sears

10 April 2014

Manchester City visit Liverpool this weekend in a match that could have massive implications on the Premier League title race, with a victory for either side sure to make them odds-on favourites to win the title.

If City are to succeed on Sunday, they will need to overturn their Premier League form at Anfield, where they have a woeful record in the era since England’s top division was revamped. And beyond Sunday, they will have only two other away games to play – at Palace and at Everton – and they also have historically poor records at both in the PL era.

As our graphic below shows:

City have played at Anfield 16 times in the Premier League and won 1 in 16.

City have played at Goodison Park 16 times in the Premier League and won 2 in 16.

City have played at Palace three times in the Premier League and won 1 in 3.

In 35 Premier League visits made to those three clubs, City have only so far chalked up these four victories:

31 Oct 1992 Everton 1 Man City  3

3 May 2003 Liverpool  1 Man City  2      (Contemporary link here to report on how City’s Anelka snatched the win in injury time)

18 Sep 2004 C Palace  1 Man City  2

25 Apr 2009 Everton 1 Man City  2

Thus the most recent of those City victories is very nearly five years ago and the only Anfield Premier League victory was more than 10 years ago. As the graphic shows, City have played away at 44 different opponents in the PL era, and only at Cardiff and Arsenal have they had a lower points return (per game) than from Liverpool.

MCFC away in the PL

 

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Palace hope to avoid fourth Premier League cameo as one-season wonders

Friday, April 4th, 2014

By Brian Sears

4 April 2014

Only twice in the 21 completed seasons of the Premier League have all three promoted clubs avoided relegation. That was in 2001-02 when Fulham, Blackburn and Bolton all lived to fight another season, and then two seasons ago when Norwich, Swansea and QPR all survived.

Only once have all three promoted clubs filled all three relegation places, and that was in 1997-98 when Bolton, Barnsley and Palace were all ‘one-season wonders’ in the same season.

The ‘one-season wonders’ (OSWs) phenomenon is pertinent this weekend particularly because two of this season’s promoted clubs meet: Cardiff and Crystal Palace. And because Palace have been OSWs more than any club previously in the Premier League. On all three previous occasions that they have been promoted to the Premier League, they have lasted just one season. Here is a list of all the OSWs in Premier League history:

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OSWs in 2013-14?

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All three promoted clubs – Hull, Palace and Cardiff – are in the bottom seven in the table ahead of this weekend’s action. Hull are seven points clear of the relegation zone, Palace five points clear, and Cardiff bang in it, second from bottom.

As Cardiff prepare to host Palace, our next graphic shows Palace have had the upper hand so far in the mini-league of promoted clubs, winning all three of their games so far against the other two.

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PL promoted clubs league 13-14

 

And another thing …

One club undoubtedly in a parlous position now are Fulham, long-time residents of the Premier League whose top-flight status is in peril.

Except for the seven ever-present Premier League clubs (Arsenal, Chelsea, Villa, Everton, Liverpool, Man Utd and Spurs) no other club is enjoying a longer unbroken spell in the top division than Fulham, residents for a 13th straight season currently.

But with just six games to play they are rooted at the foot of the table,  five points and a vastly inferior goal difference away from safety.  True, their home form has saved them in seasons past and their remaining home scraps with Norwich, Hull and Palace give good chances for points, but even all nine points would not guarantee survival.

Not only that. Their away form is often awful, and their remaining trips are to Aston Villa (this weekend) and then to Tottenham and Stoke. In their 29 previous Premier League visits to those three destinations combined, Fulham have managed just three wins and nine draws along with 17 defeats.  Villa Park has not provided them with a single win in 12 attempts.

As our final graphic shows, Fulham might wish for visits to Sunderland, Man City, Newcastle or Norwich, but they have already happened and provided two of this season’s wins. In contrast Fulham will be relieved that there is no further visit to Goodison to come: they have a frankly astonishing blank record there in all 13 Premier League trips and further back to boot.

Fulham away in PL by oppo

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Why the 3-way title race hinges on games between Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool

Friday, March 28th, 2014

By Brian Sears

28 March 2014

The top four teams in the Premier League this weekend before the action starts have all passed the 60-point milestone. They are the only clubs to do so and are the only four with any realistic chance left of winning this season’s title. (Some would argue Arsenal’s realistic chance has gone, and perhaps it has, but that’s a longer argument).

This season can certainly be characterised as having had four title-chasers on the one hand – Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal – and the ‘other 16′ clubs on the other, with those ‘other 16′ currently led by Everton.

Today’s questions, then, are:

  • How have Everton and the other 15 fared when they have come up against the top four?
  • Which team(s) in the ‘other 16′ have caused the leading foursome the most damage?
  • Which clubs will still have a lot to say in the remaining games as they come up against those top four?
  • What has happened when the top four have played each other so far?

The graphics below will help us answer those questions but first some conclusions.

1: The four-way title race is now in fact a three-way title race, with Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City in contention.

2: Using patterns from earlier in the season to predict what will happen next, we think Chelsea and City could finish extremely close together, perhaps even on the same number of points, with Liverpool not very far away at all.

3: The prediction in the previous sentence is based on Chelsea’s dominance so far against fellow top-four teams, and also on Liverpool’s relative weakness, so far, within that elite group against fellow top-four teams. Our forecast says Liverpool, based on this relative weakness, will not do well in their vital games to come against Chelsea and City. BUT Liverpool face both those sides at home, and in form.

4: So with all other things being equal, the title, a genuine three-way race, will hinge on Liverpool’s home games on 13 and 27 April against City and Chelsea respectively; and on a smattering of games by top-four teams against ‘other 16′ rivals who have proved hard nuts to crack to the top four as a whole. (And Arsenal, of course, will insist they can still play a big part in the title, starting against City on Saturday).

First let’s look at the ‘other 16′ and their records against the top four this season so far; and the top four against each other.

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Top 4 v bottom 16 PL 13-14

 

It turns out that so far Aston Villa have had the most success when taking on the top four, including home wins over Chelsea and City and that first day of the season win at Arsenal. Stoke are the only other team to have recorded two wins, at home to Chelsea and Arsenal.

Three clubs still have three games each to play against the current top four: West Ham, Norwich and Crystal Palace. Palace are one of the two clubs who have yet to muster a single point in their contests with the top four. The other club in that bracket, Fulham, have already completed their programme of games with eight losses from eight.

Manchester United, too, perhaps to their relief, do not face another meeting with the four leading clubs this season.

West Brom are worthy of a special commendation: they have only been defeated twice in six “top four” matches, drawing the other four. They still have to visit City and Arsenal.

When it comes to games amongst themselves Chelsea clearly deserve their current top spot, winning four and drawing one of the five games between the elite so far, gaining an average of 2.6 points from those games and conceding 0.2 points per game. They still have to visit Anfield, as do City.

The other remaining game of that tiny but so significant league is Arsenal v City on Saturday evening.

So how will the title be decided? The graphic below attributes ‘theoretical’ points to each of the remaining fixtures for the top four clubs, ‘theoretical’ because the points assigned are those that each opponent has given up, so far, on average, in games against top four clubs this season. ‘Theoretical’ because it is not possible for Liverpool to take 2.71 points from their game with Spurs, or for Arsenal to take 1.67 points from their date with West Brom.

But fun, none the less. Here goes:

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Run-in 2013-14

With seven games remaining, this theory gives Chelsea 17 more points, Liverpool 15, City 20 (from nine games) and Arsenal 15 (from seven). That would leave Chelsea and City on 86 points each and Liverpool on 83.

That cannot happen, not in the theoretical way we imagine. But it can be close. It almost certainly will be close. And the importance of the games remaining between the top four teams cannot be over-stressed.

 

 

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Tottenham’s last league win at Chelsea: so long ago it involved Gary Lineker

Friday, March 7th, 2014

By Brian Sears

7 March 2014

There have been seven ‘ever-present’ clubs in the Premier League, none of them relegated from the top flight since England’s top division was revamped in 1992-93: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham.

That means each of those seven have now faced each of the others 21 or 22 times at home in the Premier League, and 21 or 22 times away.

And all the ever-present seven have won at least one Premier League away match against each of the others. Except in one case.

Tottenham, in the 21 completed years of the PL, have never won at Chelsea. Not once.

Our first graphic today illustrates quite how remarkable that is; and also highlights why Manchester United have been the outstanding club of the PL era, how their realistic challengers among the ever-present seven have only been Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, and how Villa, Everton and Spurs have struggled in that company.

Note United have won 61 of 131 away PL games against the others in this group (46.6 per cent), with Everton in contrast winning just 12 of 132 (or 9.1 per cent). Unlike Tottenham, though, Everton have won at least once at each of the other ever-present clubs’ grounds.

Tottenham themselves have managed seven wins at Goodison, five at Villa Park and two each at the homes of Arsenal, Liverpool and United. But they still await their first Premier League win at Stamford Bridge.  True they have sometimes come close; close enough to claim 8 draws but that means 13 defeats as well in their 21 visits.

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PL ever-present away at PLEP

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Tottenham fans with good memories will recall the last Spurs league win at Stamford Bridge, so long ago it involved a winner from Gary Lineker:

10 February 1990 Chelsea 1 (Bumstead)   Tottenham 2 (Howells, Lineker)

 

Article continues below 

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Even at White Hart Lane, Tottenham have struggled to win Premier League games against Chelsea, taking all three points on just three occasions in the PL era.

5 Nov 2006 Tottenham  2 (Dawson, Lennon) Chelsea  1 (Makelele)

21 Mar 2009 Tottenham  1 (Modric) Chelsea  0

17 Apr 2010 Tottenham  2 (Defoe pen, Bale) Chelsea  1 (Lampard)

So altogether Chelsea have gained 86 Premier League points from Tottenham home and away in the 43 games played at precisely two points a game on average. Tottenham’s points from Chelsea total 26, at 0.6 points a game.

Currently Chelsea are 10 points clear of Tottenham in the Premier League table with 10 games to go. And when it comes to solely London derby games, Chelsea are five points above Spurs, with Chelsea unbeaten (see below). Tottenham have already lost at home to West Ham and away at Arsenal.

How that Inter-London Premier League currently stands:

London Prem to 7.3.14

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Today’s third graphic demonstrates the financial mismatch between Chelsea and Tottenham – adding the cost of the assembly of their current squads to the amount of wages they’re paying their respective groups of players.

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CFC v THFC 2013-14

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The methodology used here takes the amount spent on assembling the first-team squads for each Premier League club for 2013-14 (data from the Football Observatory, here) and adds the wage bill for each club (total wage bill as listed in most recent accounts, 2012-13, or the season earlier and adjusted).

Is this an imperfect measurement of a club’s financial power? Of course, there is no perfect measurement, not least as spending is dynamic.

Does this graphic give a clear like-for-like comparison of resources? Absolutely.

Manchester City’s squad cost £362.6m in fees to assemble for example, and their latest total club wage bill (a large percentage of which goes on players) was £233m, for a total spend of £595.6m. Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal round out the top four, and frankly from an economic point of view those four clubs ‘should’ finish in the top four. (But quite possibly won’t as United are in transition).

Spurs are in the next group (of two, alongside Liverpool), trying to crack that top four. Breaking hoodoos like the one they face at Stamford Bridge would be a start – and remains a big task.

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Premier League goals: worth £915k each last season, and £1.5m now

Monday, February 24th, 2014

By Nick Harris

24 February 2014

Wayne Rooney’s goal for Manchester United on Saturday at Crystal Palace, which came the day after the club confirmed his contract extension until June 2019, prompted inevitable headlines and comment along the lines ‘That’s how to repay a £300,000 per week wage.’

It also got me wondering: how much is a goal in the Premier League worth?

More precisely, given the inflation-busting pay rise Rooney has apparently landed himself, how much is a goal worth in the Premier League this season, under the new TV deals, compared to last season?

First, an answer: each goal in the Premier League last season was worth, on average, £914,550 in ‘prize’ money from central Premier League funds.

(NB, this is an answer, there are multiple ways of answering this question).

The calculation: the 20 clubs received £972,166,620 from central funds combined (average £48.6m per club), and scored a total of 1,063 goals, so the average value per PL goal last season, in PL cash, in effect, was £914,550. The detail per club is in the first graphic below.

And this season? Because of the huge jump in TV revenues and the expected large jump in payments from central funds to the 20 clubs, it looks likely, at current scoring rates, that each goal, on average, will be worth around £1.54m in ‘prize’ money.

The calculation: the 20 clubs will receive somewhere in the region of £1.57 billion from central PL funds between them (average around £78.5m), and at the current rate, we can expect around 1,019 goals, so each will be worth around £1.54m, give or take a few tens of thousands. That’s a hike in the value of each goal by somewhere north of 60 per cent.

One could argue Rooney needs only 11 Premier League goals this season for United to repay his salary; and any other goals in other competitions come free. Why? Because weekly pay of £300k means annual pay of £15.6m, so 11 goals at £1.54m each are worth £16.94m. Rooney has 10 PL goals this season already, including Saturday’s.

But this is not a piece about Rooney and his contract, rather one prompted by it.

Why is a goals value of £915k per goal last season valid?

Premier League football clubs, like all clubs, have income from three three revenue streams:

- match day income (that’s tickets and programmes, pies and prawn sandwiches).

- commercial income (shirt sponsorship, kit deals, merchandise, etcetera).

- media income (TV money basically, from the Premier League, and where applicable, from Uefa for European competitions and from the national bodies for domestic cups).

For the purposes of this exercise, we are looking solely at the Premier League TV income part of the media income – so not match day money at all, not commercial income, just the money paid out by the Premier League as a result of playing in the PL, and achieving whatever each club achieves.

The PL central payments to the clubs are not handed out on the basis of how many goals each team scores, obviously.

The payments are made using a formula where the clubs split parts of the domestic and overseas income, get different amounts depending on appearances on TV, and get more money for each place up the table they finish.

But goals are the currency of football, and goals equate to points (with a remarkable closeness, across the division as a whole), and more points mean more success, and therefore, for the purposes of this exercise, the comparison is between goals and the cash they earn from the success they bring

The first graphic looks at last season in detail. The clubs are ranked in order of how much PL TV money each club received. These are official figures, sourced from the Premier League.

Note the total amount paid out: £972m. And the total goals: 1,063. And the average amount per goal: £914,550.

What is also striking is the relationship between the number of goals and the number of points: 1,032 points won last season for those 1,063 goals, at effectively one point per goal.

And as the graphic shows, most clubs are not very far off this tally of roughly a point per goal, give or take a few ‘outliers’.

Manchester United scored 86 goals and won 89 points, Arsenal scored 73 goals for 72 points, Chelsea scored 75 goals for 75 points, West Ham scored 45 goals for 46 points and so on. Stoke, however, made the most of their relatively few goals (34) in winning 42 points while at the other extreme Reading’s 43 goals mustered only 28 points.

The other thing to note is that goals are ‘worth’ a bit more per goal to those clubs who scored fewest; and a bit less per goal to those who score more.

But the principle is clear, and consistent: the more you score, the more points you win, the more money you get.

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PL cash n goals 12-13

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Last season was not some fluke where goals were worth around one point each, and each goal was worth just more than £900,000 each. Here is what happened the season before, and again the relationship between goals (1,066) and points (1,057) is striking:

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PL cash and goals 11-12

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And this season?

With the new TV deals in place, pouring in hundreds of millions of pounds of new cash thanks to BT Sport entering the bidding (read about that here), and a boom in overseas rights cash, driven by Asian markets (read about that here), the value of being in the Premier League has soared. Which means the value of each goal has risen.

The last graphic attempts to give an approximate forecast of how the TV money will rise per club this season (based on what we know about PL income) and also shows how the table would look if all the clubs current points and goals tallies continue at their current rates between now and the end of the season.

This is not a stats-based prediction of how the final table will look. The extrapolations on points and goals have been made solely so we can calculate the probable approximate ‘value’ of each goal this season.

The graphic is otherwise self-explanatory: goals have got much more valuable. Which is why clubs are able to pay more to those who score them.

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PL cash and goals 13-14

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For more detail about how the Premier League money has been divided up in recent seasons, go here.

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Everton punching above financial weight as trip to top-four rivals Tottenham looms

Friday, February 7th, 2014

By Brian Sears

and Nick Harris

7 February 2014

Everton and Tottenham are both aspiring to play Champions League football next season and along with Liverpool, and perhaps Manchester United, are the only credible challengers for a top-four finish behind the three teams already highly likely to finish inside the top four: Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea.

This weekend’s fixtures are particularly interesting then, not only pairing Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on Saturday, but in Everton’s trip to Tottenham on Sunday.

First the bad news for Tottenham fans: Spurs’s home form has been relatively poor, with just five of 13 league wins this season coming at White Hart Lane. If the league table were drawn on home form alone, Tottenham would not be in contention for CL football, they would be 11th, as here:

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PL home table at 7.2.14

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Tottenham are one of the seven clubs who have conceded more PL goals in front of their own fans this season than they have scored. In contrast, their away form of eight wins, two draws and two defeats is second only to Arsenal’s, and then only on goal difference.

For the record, here are the four White Hart Lane PL ‘misadventures’ already this season:

6 Oct 2013 Tottenham  0 West Ham  3

10 Nov 2013 Tottenham  0  Newcastle  1

15 Dec 2013 Tottenham  0 Liverpool  5

29 Jan 2014 Tottenham  1 Man City  5

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So where is the solace?

Tottenham have earned more points at home from Everton in the Premier League than they have won against any other team, or 42 from 21 previous seasons to be precise. Everton have only won there three times in 21 visits.

Here is Tottenham’s complete home record by opponent, which also shows that Tottenham have managed two or more points per game against several other long-term Premier League rivals including Manchester City.

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THFC at WHL in PL era

 

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But which of the clubs, Tottenham or Everton, are punching most above their weight in terms of financial resources?

Today’s final graph makes that abundantly clear: Everton.

The methodology used here takes the amount spent on assembling the first-team squads for each Premier League club for 2013-14 (data from the Football Observatory, here) and adds the wage bill for each club (total wage bill as listed in most recent accounts, 2012-13, or the season earlier and adjusted).

Is this an imperfect measurement of a club’s financial power? Of course, there is no perfect measurement, not least as spending is dynamic.

Does this graphic give a clear like-for-like comparison of resources? Absolutely.

Manchester City’s squad cost £362.6m in fees to assemble for example, and their latest total club wage bill (a large percentage of which goes on players) was £233m, for a total spend of £595.6m. Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal round out the top four, and frankly from an economic point of view those four clubs ‘should’ finish in the top four. (But quite possibly won’t as United are in transition).

But look at which club should, economically, be fifth: Spurs.

And where ‘should’ Everton be? Probably around mid-table, scrapping it out with Villa, Newcastle and Sunderland.

Squad n wages PL 13-14

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Chelsea’s challenge: a rampant Man City with a scoring home run of 61 matches

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

By Brian Sears

3 February 2014

Chelsea visit the Etihad Stadium on Monday evening to face a team racking up goals at unprecedented levels in the Premier League era. This season already City have netted 115 goals in 37 matches in all competitions for an average of 3.1 goals per game. At home they have been more rampant still, scoring 72 goals in 18 games in all competitions for an average of 4 (FOUR) goals per game.

Chelsea’s trip north is made in the context of wanting to end two City runs. First, City’s 100 per cent home league record this season: 11 games played, 11 games won with 42 goals scored and eight conceded.

But less well documented is City’s record of scoring in 61 consecutive home league games dating back to November 2010.

Before that run they had had three home games without scoring; on 24 October 2010 Arsenal won 3-0 at the Etihad in the Premier League. The next league visitors were Manchester United on 10 November, then Birmingham City on 13 November. Both games ended 0-0.

But since then in their 61 home league games played, City have scored at least one goal on every occasion and indeed on 46 of them more than one goal.

Article continues below

City home PL since 13.11.10

The baton for scoring every game has passed across Manchester from red to blue. On 12 December 2009, Manchester United lost 0-1 to Aston Villa at Old Trafford and for their next 66 home league games, United scored every time until losing 0-1 to Chelsea last May. (This season United have failed to score in three home league games of the 12 played)

That run of 66 by United is the Premier League record for serial home goal scoring. If City are to match it they must score in games against Chelsea, Sunderland, Stoke, Aston Villa and Fulham . Then a goal against Southampton in early April would see them claim the record from United.

(Yes, yes, yes, I know there was football before the Premier League era; but the PL era stands on its own as the ‘big money’ era, and if ever two clubs encapsulated it then it is Chelsea and City).

Arsenal are the only other Premier League club to have completed two consecutive seasons of scoring in every home game – 2001-02 and 2002-03 – a run that lasted 44 games altogether. That 2001-02 season was notable for Arsenal in that they scored in every game home and away, a run that lasted for 55 games altogether.

But back to Man City’s  current run and the home records of all current Premier League clubs over that period since 13 November 2010.

PL clubs since MCFC last failed score

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EXCLUSIVE: Cellino claims ‘McDermott had to go … Festa in temporary control at Leeds’

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

By Simon Austin

1 February 2014

Prospective Leeds owner Massimo Cellino claims he had “no choice” but to sack manager Brian McDermott. The controversial Italian businessman has placed former Middlesbrough and Portsmouth defender Gianluca Festa in charge for today’s derby at Elland Road against Huddersfield.

Cellino, 57, is close to taking a 75 per cent stake in the Championship club, subject to Football League approval. And Cagliari owner Cellino has taken no time in dispensing with the services of McDermott, just nine months into his three-year contract at Elland Road.

In an exclusive interview, Cellino said: “I spoke with Brian earlier in the week and gave him the chance for the challenge. I don’t know him, but told him I would be coming in and he would have the chance to build something special and work with a lot of money.

“In the end we didn’t have any choice though because he did everything to get fired. He gave me no choice.

“He started an argument with everyone. He was talking with the papers, with everyone, which was not fair. He made it impossible. I want a coach for the club, not a manager.”

Cellino was cagey when asked whether former Middlesbrough defender Gianluca Festa, a close ally, would be replacing McDermott at the Yorkshire club on a permanent basis.

“Gianluca is a nice guy but he wasn’t in my plans before all of this … Leeds are a special club who have had difficult times. But what is beyond question is that the club’s fans are very, very special.”

Festa, 44, turned up twice at Leeds’ Thorp Arch training ground this week to observe training. Cellino then ordered McDermott to allow Festa into the Leeds’ dugout for Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against Ipswich, a request the manager refused. Festa also sat on the players’ table for lunch at the training ground this week.

Cellino blocked Luke Varney’s transfer to Blackburn, which had been signed off by McDermott. After the Ipswich game McDermott said: “This has been one of the most difficult periods I’ve had as a manager, especially the last few days.

“Some of the stuff that’s gone on has not been pleasant and it doesn’t belong in football in my opinion.”

These comments angered Cellino, as did McDermott’s decision to seek the help of the League Managers’ Association and decline the request for Festa to sit in the Leeds dugout.

Meanwhile, Enterprise Insurance have announced that they plan to withdraw their sponsorship of the club following the takeover and treatment of McDermott. Andrew Flowers, the company’s managing director, had been part of the Sport Capital consortium which had tried to take over the club.

The deal fell through when the consortium reduced its bid and the club’s owners, Gulf Finance House, pulled out and turned to Cellino, who was at Elland Road last night and faces massive fan protests against his involvement.

Cellino, an agricultural entrepreneur, has twice been convicted of fraud and there are doubts as to whether he would pass the Football League’s fit and proper person test. He claimed he was the highest bidder for West Ham in 2010 and also made enquiries about buying Crystal Palace.

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