Amazing interactive chart on the history of global transfers. Courtesy of the Guardian.
By David Butler
Here's the updated attendance stats for O'Neill and Keane's first match. I asked would we see an increase in attendance here last week before the Latvia tie due to the duo's appointment.
37,100 turned up to the Aviva for last Friday's match, reaching 71% capacity for the stadium. The attendance exceeded the average at the Aviva for friendly matches by 11% and translates to, on average, O'Neill and Keane attracting 5,901 extra people.
Although the pricing structure may have been different, more people attended Trapatoni's first game at Croke Park (42,500) but this game against Serbia had a lower capacity attendance - 52% compared to the O'Neill-Keane 71%.
Good news for O'Neill and Keane, but when you see 46,000 attending the Aviva on Saturday night to see Ireland take on Australia in Rugby Union it perhaps make you question the quality of our international football.
By Robbie Butler
The idea that Ireland is to bid, and could potentially host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, is an exciting prospect for any Irish sports fan.
In the past decade international sporting events such as the Special Olympics World Games (2003), Volvo Ocean Race (2009 & 2012), Tall Ships Race (2005, 2011 & 2012) and most notably the Ryder Cup (2006) have been held in Ireland.
The prospect of one of the world’s major sporting events coming to this country has led to speculation regarding upgrading of national infrastructure, the economic impact of the event and legacy benefits in the years after the tournament is held (see John Considine's earlier post here).
While hosting the 2023 RWC will make people happier (see here), the economic benefits accruing from hosting the 4th biggest sporting event in the world, are very much debatable. In fact, Ireland is likely to join a long list of states that loses money from hosting major sporting event.
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar stated on RTE’s Primetime that the potential benefits to the economy from hosting the 2023 RWC could be up to €800 million (nominal terms). It’s unlikely the event will generate anything in the region of this. However, if you include the ‘happiness factor’, or the pride that hosting the event would bring to the Irish people, the benefits will run into billions of euros.
I'm behind the bid from a sporting perspective. We need to accept that the event will be a net drain on the state. More to follow on this…
By John Considine
November 2013 has brought us some differences in international opinions on the hosting of major sporting events. The German people voted against bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympic games. The Irish government announced its intention to back the IRFU in its efforts to bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. In the UK the House of Lords Select Committee on Olympic and Paralympic Legacy presented a report that suggested that the benefits that were supposed to accrue from the London Olympics were not being achieved.
The House of Lords Report (here) is interesting in that it examines the situation over a year after the 2012 London games. The report highlights the arguments over access and use of the Olympic facilities. It also claimed that there was no evidence of an increase in sporting participation despite the expectation that the games would have such an effect. The Lords also questioned the approach of UK Sport that funds elite sport. UK Sport targets money to sports based on past and potential medals. In this respect it has been pretty successful. The Lords suggested that this approach militated against potentially popular emerging sports. One other criticism of the legacy of the London Olympics is the uneven geographical distribution of the benefits.
In Germany the people of Bavaria voted against bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics. Four regions voted against the proposal with the vote against ranging from 52% to 60%. The victors claimed the vote demonstrated voters’ distrust of international sporting organisations as a result of doping and corruption scandals. They also claimed that the way that the international sporting organisations extract the economic benefits from the event left little for the host region. The losers claimed it would damage Germany’s sporting reputation. They also claimed the voters would regret their decision in years to come.
In the last couple of days the Irish government announced its intention to back the IRFU in its efforts to bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. The story was the main headline on Monday’s Irish Examiner (here). The government claim that the event will bring 337,000 fans to Ireland and will benefit the Irish economy to the tune of €800m. The government’s claims are based on a report commissioned by the government. Over the coming days we will look at aspects of this report (when it is published). Overall the proposal seems to be well received.
By Robbie Butler
The future of the ATP World Tour Finals is unknown beyond 2015 when the current deal between the Association of Tennis Professionals and the O² Arena in London expires. World number 7 and Grand Slam record holder Roger Federer recently said he hoped the end of season event would remain at the O². However, both Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic have said the event should be moved after 2015. Nadal argues that because players qualify for the ATP Tour Final by playing on all three surfaces (clay, grass and hard), the final event itself should be rotated between those surfaces. Djokovic has repeated commended the O² Arena as a venue but believes the location of the tournament should be changed in order to promote the sport of tennis to a wider global audience.
This poses a dilemma for organisers. The incentives structures at play make sticking with the O² beyond 2015 a sensible choice. The venue is the 2nd biggest tennis arena in the world. Demand for tickets continues to at least match supply, with all sessions at the 2013 event sold out. The British public appear to have very much taken to the O² spectacle.
This was not always the case. For many years the ATP World Tour Finals had a nomadic life moving from place to place with Tokyo, Paris, New York, Frankfurt, Sydney and Shanghai among the list of host cities.
The issues rasied by Nadal are more sensitive and go right to the heart of competitive balance. It’s no surprise Nadal wants a rotating surface. The king of Roland Garros, who has been beaten just once ever in Paris, is almost untouchable on clay. The ATP World Tour Finals are played indoors on a hard surface. It’s no surprise then that while Federer and Djokovic, both hard court experts, have ten titles between them, the Spaniard is yet to win the event.
The fans don’t seem to mind the lack of competition however. Federer and Djokovic have won every title between them from 2006 to 2013 yet the event has never been as popular. Maybe competition is overrated and fans are more interested in saying the saw the ‘greats’ play live.
by Declan Jordan
In a paper on the effect of rivalry of team performance I've gathered data on
manager churn as a control variable. I've collated data on when clubs have
changed manager. The data is for every club that has appeared in the Premier
League since it started in 1992/3 until the end of the 2012/13 season (21
years). There is one club missing (Wimbledon/MK Dons as they are the only club to shift location significantly in that period - that is if they are the same
club at all). That means there are 44 clubs in the sample.
When I mentioned to a colleague that I was gathering this data he made the comment that he expected the rate of managerial change will have increased in the last few years compared to the early years of the then Premiership. I can't get at a definitive answer to that question with the data I have but I can shed some light on it. I have a binary variable taking a value if the club changed manager in a given season. The reason I can't get at the rate of managerial change is that I cannot capture whether there has been more than one change in a season - and this is certainly a phenomenon at some Premier League clubs in recent years.
The table below shows the average number of seasons in which clubs have changed their manager (at least once). It can be seen that over the 21 seasons, clubs changed managers in 8.18 seasons on average. Splitting the time period in two (11 seasons to 2003 and 10 seasons to 2013) there is an almost equal average. When split into three equal periods of 7 seasons there is a notable rise in the average number of seasons with a managerial change to 3.23 in the later period, though there is a dip from the first to second periods. This could explain why there is a sense that the rate has increased dramatically since we are more likely to draw on more recent history for comparison.
Peter McKenna, Commercial and Stadium Director at Croke Park, has been named Marketer of the Year. The GAA document their pride in the award here. The Herald have a story on the award (here). RTE's Morning Ireland broadcast a very informative radio interview with McKenna (here). The interview was conducted by Conor Brophy and it formed the main part of the business news yesterday. Towards the end of the interview McKenna discusses the importance of ensuring the live event is better than the televised event. He also cites interesting statistics about the likelihood of adults attending sports events based on their childhood experiences. It is worth listening to the interview.
By Ed Valentine
A recent game in the Champions League threw up a rather interesting situation in the world of cross market betting. FC Copenhagen’s game at home to Galatasaray, a match which the Danish side narrowly edged out the Turkish opposition by a goal to nil, wasn’t the most glamorous of contests on match day 4 of Europe’s premier club football tournament however it delivered an arbitrage betting scenario with three of the most popular bookmakers.
An arbitrage bet is a bet which offers a sure payout no matter what the outcome. They are rare, and as odds fluctuate, do not fall in adjacency thus rendering the possibility of guaranteeing returns a difficult proposition.
Before kickoff a popular trio of bookies - Betfair, Bwin and William Hill – unbeknown to all three at the time offered the following respective odds:-
31/50 for a home win with Betfair.
14/5 for a draw with Bwin.
9/1 for an away win at William Hill.
€100 bet would have yielded a 2% profit no matter what the result and here’s why:
€62.96 on a home win would return €102
€26.84 on a draw would return €101.99
€10.20 on an away win would return €102
A 2% profit is not much at those amounts but consider larger amounts or even events such as tennis or basketball where there is no chance of a draw. Having two possible outcomes instead of three widens the propensity for profiteering even further.
It is unlikely that this scenario would turn out for a top of the table clash as the teams involved at the sharp end of domestic leagues are studied thoroughly and form is widely known but for minority sports or matches between competitors whom little is known about the push and pull of the cross market levers offer the chance for eagle eyed sports fans to make a safe bet.
Opening group games of major international tournaments such as the World Cup lend themselves well to such scenarios as teams with no recent (or none at all) head to head records often get drawn in the same group. After the draw is made for Brazil 2014 on the 6th of December it will be interesting to examine just how many opportunities to yield profits will be available across the betting market.
A profit is a profit and the best way to earn a small fortune is to start with a large one.
By David Butler
Previously I presented data and descriptive stats on the attendance at the Aviva stadium for Republic of Ireland
international ties. Below strips out the stats showing attendance at just home friendly ties from August 2010 to June 2013. Giving that pricing structures (to my knowledge) and the competition format Fridays Latvia match (friendly) have remained constant it will be interesting to see the effect the new management team has on attendance. For Giovanni Trapattoni's first game Ireland drew 1-1 in a friendly with Serbia in May 2008. 42,500 people were attracted to Croke Park, thats a 52% capacity of the 82,300 seats available in the stadium.
Of course we can’t control for the ‘opposition variable’ (i.e. I’m sure Brazil would attract more than Latvia, and the Poland friendly attracts foreign nationals in Ireland regardless of the manager which Robbie spoke of earlier this morning) but given the degree of speculation concerning the ‘business side’ of the appointment, it will be interesting to see if O'Neill and Keane can attract at least the average for friendly attendances in the Aviva: 31199. 60% of the 51,700 capacity. This average falls to 28,585 or 55% capacity if you drop the first game against Argentina which was the inaugural match at the Aviva.
If we were to assume that Latvia would be just as attractive as our last 5 friendly opponents (in table above) and that the quality of Ireland's football has got no better or worse, we could probably make a crude estimate of the economic effects of the new appointment.... and perhaps should divide the figure by 2!
By Robbie Butler
Tonight's friendly international schedule is upon us. I was not surprised to hear earlier in the week Robin Van Persie, Steven Gerrard and others had pick up ‘knocks’ playing at club level, ruling them out of this evening's games. It’s hard to disagree with clubs, who sometimes secretly encourage this behaviour, as they attempt to ‘protect’ their players during the hectic domestic season, with many club managers often calling into question the merit of friendly internationals.
While most associations will argue that friendly games are an opportunity for national managers to get their squad together to work on shape, tactics, etc. the mid-November games are also a revenue generation exercise.
The catch of course is that ‘friendlies’ are often like watching paint dry.
Getting 50,000 plus people into the Aviva in mid-November isn’t easy. The Football Association of Ireland appear to be following a sensible approach. If people aren’t drawn to watch the home team, try to target people that wish to watch the away team.
EU27 residents (excluding Ireland the UK) now make up the 2nd largest ‘nationality’ group in the country according to the CSO’s 2011 census. More than 6% of the population fall under this category. The bulk of these are from Eastern Europe. The FAI appear to be targeting this market.
From September 1990 to August 2006, Ireland played 42 home friendlies. 10 games (24%) were against Eastern European teams during this sixteen year period. Since then, the Boys in Green have played 16 home friendlies. 7 have been played against teams from Eastern Europe (44%). The next two home friendly are against Latvia and Serbia. That means by next March, 50% of all home friendly since 2008 will have been versus teams from Eastern Europe.
Poland, the Czech Rep and Serbia will all have visited twice in the past decade for friendly games by next March. The Poles in particular brought a huge ‘travelling’ support.
But beware, since 2009 net migration from the EU27 (excluding the UK) has fallen year on year. While the likes of Latvia and Croatia may still be value for money, our days of watching Eastern Europe opposition in the Aviva may be drawing to a close.
This website was founded in July 2013.