Efficiency in football – opinion

I received many studies and analyzes on the topic of “competence” in football. Competency analysis, definition and evaluation is already a major challenge in many industries, although there are KPIs in other areas that work quite tolerably.

But we are talking about football and its peculiarities. The goal in this column is to develop the topic, with the calm that, in the end, we will not have absolute truths.

First, for any analysis carried out in this direction, it is necessary to establish a goal. After all, to measure efficiency, we need to know what it’s referring to. Efficiency in producing what? The second question is what is the goal of the football club?

We will answer later. First, we need to define three concepts that have guided this conversation: efficiency, effectiveness, and effectiveness.

Quite simply, effectiveness is related to the goal, no matter what the cost of doing so. Efficiency looks at the cost of achieving a goal, something like “doing more with less”. Efficacy analyzes the long-term effects, as if combining efficacy and efficacy over time.

When we talk about efficiency in football, we must be clear that the idea is to analyze the amount that has been spent to achieve the strategic objective, ie if the club has reached where it wants to spend less. So we return to the question posed above: What is the purpose of a football club? We can only measure effectiveness and efficiency, and we can only know effectiveness if we know the objectives.

The most obvious answer is “Be a hero.” Everyone wants to be a hero. But given that we have a few competitions a year, the chance of hitting the target is relatively low. You can win State, Regional, Copa del Rey, Brazil, and for a moment, South America, Libertadores, and the World Cup. If we ignore the (almost) unreachable World Cup, there are six possibilities for some and five for the majority. Little.

Indeed, one of the functions of the state is still the possibility of obtaining a title for some clubs, which focus on the short competition and the beginning of the season because they do not have the structure and conditions for long competitions.

We see that we are talking about many possibilities and combinations of goals. When the club compiles team strategy, salary expenditures, and recruitment, it must evaluate the full ten-month calendar, setting the objectives for each competition.

It is possible that you would like to be the champion of the state, reach the last 16 of the Copa del Rey, and remain in the first division. And while directors find it hard to say, and fans even more difficult to accept that reality, it is there and it should be. Face.

Evaluating the topic from the perspective of “3 Es” (efficiency, effectiveness, effectiveness, remember that there is a fourth element which is economics, but we will leave it at this point), we will focus on efficiency.

After all, if effectiveness can be translated as winning at any price and effectiveness depends on long-term analytics, it is better to estimate those who do more with fewer resources, preferably within the possibilities.

The most common procedure when it comes to evaluating efficiency is to break down the revenue or costs by points earned and compare them to the level in the national championship. Or simply compare the income with the center. I would say we can be more complete in the analysis.

Given that the club organizes itself for a season with more than 50 matches, at least three competitions, it does not seem fair to use only the national championship – in our Brazilian case – to assess efficiency.

Imagine a club that finished sixth in this competition, but was the state champion, the Copa del Rey and Libertadores in the same year. Can you say it was ineffective? It was certainly effective and efficiency has to be measured in aggregate, not just in relation to the National Championship.

Thus, given the goal is clear, my recommendation – and the basis of what we use at Convocados Consulting – is to start with an assessment of the relationship between costs and overall outcome. It gives a better dimension to what the season has been like, not just competition, based on use on the field.

Ideally, we should only assess the costs with the football management, but there are some difficulties in doing so.

The first is the lack of information in the financial statements. Not all clubs highlight football spending, especially bonuses. So it is difficult to compile a qualified database.

The second is part of the Brazilian football structure, with football supporting part of the social activities and Olympic sports of many clubs. In this way, the use of all costs becomes a wise decision, since expenditures in other areas can be directed to football.

See the exercise below:

Moreover, Atlético Mineiro was more efficient if we consider that he won the Brazilian Cup and was in the semi-finals in the Libertadores.

And the error is even greater if we compare only the result of the Brazilian, as the team competes in other competitions. It’s always good to reinforce that.

Which reminds us that being simple doesn’t mean being simplistic. As much as there is a good intention to create data and taxonomies that make complex topics easier to understand, complex topics cannot be turned into ordinary taxonomies, since they generate what is called a “type 2 error”, or a kind of “false negative”, assuming Palmeiras and Flamingo were ineffective.

This is all because we need to return to the beginning of the article: what is efficiency and what are the goals in football? If the goal is to conquer everything, then we can say that the Flamengo was ineffective, because they spent a lot and did not conquer anything. This does not apply to Palmeiras, who finished third in a competition and won another very important one.

Just as Atlético Guignans has been instrumental, considering that its target for this year should, at most, be state champions and remain in Serie A.

This reinforces the idea that goals should be clear, in order to align expectations with fans and the market, however painful it may be. It is necessary to have as much data and KPIS as possible so that different correlations and assessments can be developed, and there will certainly be different answers to different goals and requests from clubs, investors and stakeholders.

Or we just have an arrangement for a bar table chat or a post on a social network.

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