Squad management and sporting success: a benchmarking approach for English football

Squad management and sporting success: a benchmarking approach for English football

Room 101
Clore Management Centre
Torrington Square
Birkbeck College
(For directions please see the pdf map).

Thursday 19th May 2011 at 6pm

Given by: Dr Raffaele Poli,  Sports Science Institute, University of Lausanne; International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES), University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland

The Professional Football Players’ Observatory (PFPO) is the leading academic research centre for the study of the football players’ labour market. The Centre publishes two key annual analytical reports. Since 2006, the Annual Review of the European Football Players has been the definitive reference publication for information on football labour market trends and the logics of squad formation in the five main European leagues. Now in its third year of publication, the Demographic Study of European Footballers offers an empirical analysis of the dynamics at work in 36 first division leagues in UEFA member countries.

In this seminar, drawing on data from both publications and the work of the PFPO, Dr Raffaele Poli, head and co-founder of this research group, presents the latest results about the link between demographic composition of rosters and performance. Since 2005, the PFPO has developed statistical indicators on squad characteristics of professional football clubs, allowing for a comparative and longitudinal analysis of teams throughout Europe. The presentation adopts a benchmarking approach for the English case. More specifically, it compares strategies followed from the season 2006/07 onwards by the current five best-ranked Premier League clubs (Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Tottenham), highlights the best practices, and presents the most important squad management principles to achieve success from a long term perspective.


Raffaele Poli is junior professor assistant at the Sports Science Institute of the University of Lausanne, in Switzerland, where he runs a Master in Management of Sport and Leisure. He is also scientific collaborator at the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) of the University of Neuchâtel. He is the co-founder and director of the Professional Football Players’ Observatory, a research group made up of Swiss, French and Italian academics investigating the labour market of footballers.


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Birkbeck Sport Business Seminar Series Contact Details

For further details on the seminar series contact:

Sean Hamil
Department of Management
Birkbeck College
Malet Street

Tel: 020-7631 6763

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