Football fans will be missing their Premier League fix this weekend ahead of England's latest thrilling (?) match against Switzerland next week. I have written about and put a checklist on my website as there have been academic studies showing that simple checklists can improve performance in complex situations like flying a plane safely, diagnosing diseases etc. There is also evidence that algorithms or simple mathematical models can often outperform individual and experienced practitioners, even when they have access to the models. Think Joel Greenblatt and what he saw when individuals used his system from the Little Book That Beats the Market.
So what does this have to do with the Premier League? Well with the closing of the transfer window last weekend and all the talk about the amount of money being spent, there was an interesting article on the BBC website looking at whether clubs had over paid or gained from their dealings in the transfer market. This referenced a database / model compiled by CIES Football Observatory, which tracks player and club performance and other things if that is of interest to you - apologies if you are not a football (or Soccer for an US readers) fan.
This also reminds of a good film I saw a few years ago called Moneyball which was based on a book by Michael Lewis about The Oakland Athletics baseball team and their general manager Billie Beane who used a quantitative, evidence-based, sabermetric approach to assembling a competitive baseball team, despite Oakland's disadvantaged financial situation. I know it sounds dull but I did find it quite entertaining and it even has a bit of eye candy for the Ladies as it has Brad Pitt in it plus Jonah Hill who put in a good performance as the statistics geek.
It is interesting that the owners of Liverpool FC also run the Boston Red Sox who tried to recruit Billie Bean, but in the end had to settle for using his techniques. Perhaps they are using similar techniques with Liverpool for their transfers as they seemed to have got Balotelli at a good price, also discussed in the article above?