Author: Simon Kuper, Stefan Szymanski
'Magnificent... Freakonomics for football' - Guardian This is the revised and expanded 5th edition of the international bestseller about why Spain, Germany and Brazil win, and why the USA, Japan, Australia - and even Iraq - are destined to become the kings of the world's most popular sport. Football truly is the world's favourite game, followed in over 200 countries by hundreds of millions of people pouring their hearts and souls into supporting their chosen team every week. But behind the passion are questions that all true football aficionados want to know: why do England lose whilst German and Brazil win? How have Spain conquered the world? Why do so many clubs buy the wrong players? Fully revised and updated, Soccernomics is the revolutionary guide from an economist and a sports writer who answer all these questions and more.
Why England Lose
Author: Simon Kuper, Stefan Szymanski
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
At last, football has its answer to Freakonomics, The Tipping Point and The Undercover Economist.
Beautiful Game Theory
Author: Ignacio Palacios-Huerta
Publisher: Princeton University Press
A wealth of research in recent decades has seen the economic approach to human behavior extended over many areas previously considered to belong to sociology, political science, law, and other fields. Research has also shown that economics can provide insight into many aspects of sports, including soccer. Beautiful Game Theory is the first book that uses soccer to test economic theories and document novel human behavior. In this brilliant and entertaining book, Ignacio Palacios-Huerta illuminates economics through the world's most popular sport. He offers unique and often startling insights into game theory and microeconomics, covering topics such as mixed strategies, discrimination, incentives, and human preferences. He also looks at finance, experimental economics, behavioral economics, and neuroeconomics. Soccer provides rich data sets and environments that shed light on universal economic principles in interesting and useful ways. Essential reading for students, researchers, and sports enthusiasts, Beautiful Game Theory is the first book to show what soccer can do for economics.
Author: David Sumpter
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
'Football looked at in a very different way' Pat Nevin, former Chelsea and Everton star and football media analyst Football – the most mathematical of sports. From shot statistics and league tables to the geometry of passing and managerial strategy, the modern game is filled with numbers, patterns and shapes. How do we make sense of them? The answer lies in the mathematical models applied in biology, physics and economics. Soccermatics brings football and mathematics together in a mind-bending synthesis, using numbers to help reveal the inner workings of the beautiful game. This new and expanded edition analyses the current big-name players and teams using mathematics, and meets the professionals working inside football who use numbers and statistics to boost performance. Welcome to the world of mathematical modelling, expressed brilliantly by David Sumpter through the prism of football. No matter who you follow – from your local non-league side to the big boys of the Premiership, La Liga, the Bundesliga, Serie A or the MLS – you'll be amazed at what mathematics has to teach us about the world's favourite sport.
The Numbers Game
Author: Chris Anderson
Moneyball meets Freakonomics in this myth-busting guide to understanding—and winning—the most popular sport on the planet - now with a new afterword on the 2014 World Cup! Innovation is coming to soccer, and at the center of it all are the numbers—a way of thinking about the game that ignores the obvious in favor of how things actually are. In The Numbers Game, Chris Anderson, a former professional goalkeeper turned soccer statistics guru, teams up with behavioral analyst David Sally to uncover the numbers that really matter when it comes to predicting a winner. Investigating basic but profound questions—How valuable are corners? Which goal matters most? Is possession really nine-tenths of the law? How should a player’s value be judged?—they deliver an incisive, revolutionary new way of watching and understanding soccer.
Sport is a global phenomenon engaging billions of people and generating annual revenues of more than US$ 145 billion. Problems in the governance of sports organisations, fixing of matches and staging of major sporting events have spurred action on many fronts. Yet attempts to stop corruption in sport are still at an early stage. The Global Corruption Report (GCR) on sport is the most comprehensive analysis of sports corruption to date. It consists of more than 60 contributions from leading experts in the fields of corruption and sport, from sports organisations, governments, multilateral institutions, sponsors, athletes, supporters, academia and the wider anti-corruption movement. This GCR provides essential analysis for understanding the corruption risks in sport, focusing on sports governance, the business of sport, planning of major events, and match-fixing. It highlights the significant work that has already been done and presents new approaches to strengthening integrity in sport. In addition to measuring transparency and accountability, the GCR gives priority to participation, from sponsors to athletes to supporters an essential to restoring trust in sport.
Outside the Box
Author: Duncan Alexander
Publisher: Random House
In football, numbers are everywhere. From touches in the opposition box to expected goals, clear-cut chances to win-loss ratios. In the modern game, these numbers help provide the narrative, the drama, and the conversation. They are scrutinised in order to justify results and to predict future outcomes. They even dictate transfer policy and drive clubs to achieve the impossible. But when did the numbers become so important and what do they mean? In Outside the Box, Duncan Alexander looks back at twenty-five years of the Premier League and beyond, uncovering the hidden truths and accepted myths that surround the game. Using the archives of OptaJoe and never-before-seen data, we discover why Liverpool have gone 27 years without winning a league title and why Lionel Messi is the best player in the game’s history. Or is he? Insightful, wry, and hugely entertaining, Outside the Box is an enlightening and accessible account of football across the decades, analysing data from the some of the greatest seasons, players, teams and managers.
An absolutely essential book for every modern football fan, about the development of Premier League tactics, published to coincide with 25 years of the competition.
The Damned Utd
Author: David Peace
Publisher: Melville House
“Probably the best novel ever written about sport.” —The Times (UK) He was a real-life, working-class hero known as the “British Muhammad Ali”—because he had a big mouth and wasn’t afraid to use it. But Brian Clough wasn’t a boxer, he was a soccer coach, known for taking backwater teams and making them into champions. In towns where people had little else, the hard-drinking and scrappy Clough was a hero. He was especially beloved for telling it like it was on behalf of small-town teams everywhere—calling out the stars who played dirty, rival coaches he suspected of bribing referees, and the league that let them get away with it. And then one day Clough was offered a job coaching the big-city team he’d called the dirtiest—the perennial powerhouse Leeds United. The Damned Utd tells the story of the legendary Clough’s tumultuous forty-four days trying to turn around a corrupt institution without being corrupted himself—the players who wouldn’t play, the management that looked the other way, the wife and friends who stood by him as he fought to do the right thing. The inspiring story behind the movie of the same name, The Damned Utd has been called by The Times of London, “The best novel ever written about sport.”
Author: Simon Kuper, Stefan Szymanski
Publisher: Nation Books
The 2018 World Cup edition of the international bestseller and "the most intelligent book ever written about soccer" (San Francisco Chronicle) is updated throughout and features new chapters on the FIFA scandal, why Iceland wins, and women's soccer. Named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Guardian, Slate, Financial Times, Independent (UK), and Bloomberg News Written with an economist's brain and a soccer writer's skill, Soccernomics applies high-powered analytical tools to everyday soccer topics, looking at data and revealing counterintuitive truths about the world's most beloved game. It all adds up to a revolutionary new approach that has helped change the way the game is played. This World Cup edition features ample new material, including fresh insights into FIFA's corruption, the surge in domestic violence during World Cups, and Western Europe's unprecedented dominance of global soccer.
Author: Ken Bensinger
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
The definitive, shocking account of the FIFA scandal—the biggest international corruption case of recent years, spearheaded by US investigators, involving dozens of countries, and implicating nearly every aspect of the world’s most popular sport, soccer, including its biggest event, the World Cup. The FIFA case began small, boosted by an IRS agent’s review of an American soccer official’s tax returns. But that humble investigation eventually led to a huge worldwide corruption scandal that crossed continents and reached the highest levels of the soccer’s world governing body in Switzerland. In Red Card, Ken Bensinger explores the case, and the personalities behind it, in vivid detail. There’s Chuck Blazer, a high-living soccer dad who ascended to the highest ranks of the sport while creaming millions from its coffers; Jack Warner, a Trinidadian soccer official whose lust for power was matched only by his boundless greed; and the sport’s most powerful man, FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who held on to his position at any cost even as soccer rotted from the inside out. Remarkably, this corruption existed for decades before American law enforcement officials began to secretly dig, finally revealing that nearly every aspect of the planet’s favorite sport was corrupted by bribes, kickbacks, fraud, and money laundering. Not even the World Cup, the most-watched sporting event in history, was safe from the thick web of corruption, as powerful FIFA officials extracted their bribes at every turn. Arriving just in time for the 2018 World Cup, Red Card goes beyond the headlines to bring the real story to light, accompanying the determined American prosecutors and special agents who uncovered what proved to be not only the biggest scandal in sports history, but one of the biggest international corruption cases ever. And it is far from over.
"You have to read David Zirin to believe him, and if you read him, you will believe him."—Jack McCallum, senior writer, Sports Illustrated "I once said Dave Zirin was the best young sportswriter in the US. I was wrong. He's simply the best."—Robert Lipsyte The people of Brazil celebrated when it was announced that they were hosting the twentieth World Cup (June 12–July 13, 2014), the world's most-viewed sporting tournament, and the thirty-first Summer Olympics (August 5–21, 2016). Now they are protesting in numbers the country hasn't seen in decades, with Brazilians taking to the streets to try to reclaim the sports they love but see being corrupted by powerful corporate interests, profiteering, and greed. In this compelling new book, relying on original reporting from the most dangerous corners of Rio to the halls of power in Washington, DC, Dave Zirin examines how sports and politics are colliding in remarkable fashion in Brazil, opening up an international conversation on the culture, economics, and politics of sports. One of "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World" (Utne), Dave Zirin is a columnist for the Nation, SLAM, and SI.com. He is host of Sirius XM's popular weekly show Edge of Sports Radio and a regular guest on ESPN's Outside the Lines, Democracy Now!, and on MSNBC. His previous books include The John Carlos Story and What's My Name Fool? He lives near Washington, DC.
When most people think about the Netherlands, images of tulips and peaceful pot smoking residents spring to mind. Bring up soccer, and most will think of Johan Cruyuff, the Dutch player thought to rival Pele in preternatural skill, and Ajax, one of the most influential soccer clubs in the world whose academy system for young athletes has been replicated around the globe (and most notably by Barcelona and the 2010 world champions, Spain). But as international bestselling author Simon Kuper writes in Ajax, The Dutch, The War: Soccer in Europe During the Second World War, the story of soccer in Holland cannot be understood without investigating what really occurred in this country during WWII. For decades, the Dutch have enjoyed the reputation of having a “good war.” The myth is even resonant in Israel where Ajax is celebrated. The fact is, the Jews suffered shocking persecution at the hands of Dutch collaborators. Holland had the second largest Nazi movement in Europe outside Germany, and in no other country except Poland was so high a percentage of Jews deported. Kuper challenges Holland's historical amnesia and uses soccer—particularly the experience of Ajax, a club long supported by Amsterdam's Jews—as a window on wartime Holland and Europe. Through interviews with Resistance fighters, survivors, wartime soccer players and more, Kuper uncovers this history that has been ignored, and also finds out why the Holocaust had a profound effect on soccer in the country. Ajax produced Cruyuff but was also built by members of the Dutch resistance and Holocaust survivors. It became a surrogate family for many who survived the war and its method for producing unparalleled talent became the envy of clubs around the world. In this passionate, haunting and moving work of forensic reporting, Kuper tells the breathtaking story of how Dutch Jews survived the unspeakable and came to play a strong role in the rise of the most exciting and revolutionary style of soccer — “Total Football” — the world had ever seen.
The Wages of Wins
Author: David Berri, Martin Schmidt, Stacey Brook
Publisher: Stanford University Press
The Wages of Wins is a proper analysis of the data generated by professional sports; it tells many tales that are inconsistent with the myths put forward by the media, industry, and consumers of professional sport.
Money and Football
Author: Stefan Szymanski
Publisher: Perseus (for Hbg)
"The most recent winners of the UEFA Champions League are the richest club in the world; the richest club in Germany; the billionaire oligarch-owned English club; the second richest club in the world, twice; and the richest club in England. Meanwhile, more than half of all clubs lose money. With startling clarity, Stefan Szymanski reveals how money decides the destiny of your soccer club."--Back cover.