Rob Minto

Sport, data, ideas

Tag: transfers

Sport Geek #88: cash, cuts and cheats

Brexit be damned. It’s been a while, but here are several sports pieces that I think are worth a read.

FOOTBALL

We think of the Premier League as a money machine. But a great look-back by the Guardian shows how it was nearly destroyed by all that cash.

A bit of a dense read, but some great insights in this Reuters piece into how players are traded. Murky.

BOXING

Is there a weirder job in sports than the cuts-man? A guy who literally has a minute to patch up a face before it gets pummelled again? This BBC article has some great quotes, if you’re not feeling too squeamish…

BASKETBALL

Great charts, non-hysterical analysis of LeBron vs Mike. I’ve read so many GOAT pieces in so many sports that they can get a bit much. But if (IF) you are going to do a greatest of all time piece, this is a fantastic way to do it. Kudos to the WaPo.

NFL

And now for something a bit lighter from the NYT – player rituals. Fun. And some downright strange: “he would then lie on a bed of towels he constructed in front of his locker, where he would always read People Magazine cover to cover”

CHESS

The Indy on how chess and cheating reads like something out of a spy novel. Also fun.

Ta

Who made a worse deal: AB InBev, or Chelsea?

Buying an asset back at a higher price always looks like bad business, whether it’s a company – or a football player.

So which organisation has made a worse deal this week? Giant brewer AB InBev, who bought South Korea’s Oriental Brewery back for $5.8bn? Or Chelsea, who bought Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic for £21m?

In absolute terms, it’s AB InBev, no question. The company sold OB for $1.8bn in 2009 – so an extra $4bn was needed to get it back.

For Chelsea, Matic was valued at around £5m in a deal in 2011 – so an extra £16m, which is pocket change in this market.

However, in relative terms, Chelsea have lost out more. Matic’s value went up by over 4x in just three years – ie 1.4 times per year, whereas OB’s value roughly tripled in 5 years, going up 0.64 times per year.

Yet in essence, it’s a false question – both the business and the player are different from when they were sold. Another way of looking at it is: what would you need to spend in this market to get something of similar value? When in the summer transfer market Manchester United spent £27m of a rather out-of-sorts Fellaini from Everton, and Arsenal spent £42.5m on Ozil, this doesn’t look like overpaying.

As Andy Brassell said on the BBC: “We should not be too hard on Chelsea for letting him go in the first place, though. His improvement in the last 18 months has been breathtaking.”

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