Statistician’s Journal : How did Ranking plead Loyalty in Football?


The genesis of club football gave birth to the competition the game needed and transfer policy came as an immediate consequence once professionalism was introduced by F.A. Then we had players like Steven Gerrard, Carlos Puyol, Ryan Giggs, Paolo Maldini and more – who spent most of their career playing for a single club, despite lucrative offers from other associations . If this depicts the steepest level of loyalty possible, the ability to retain a quality player has always remained a tough challenge for the football clubs.

To maintain the fresh flow of talents up and running, the club management also needs to scout players from the camps of the opponents. Some clubs take patience in grooming talents at their academies before signing young prodigies whereas many others lure players from rivals with added incentives. Considering both the aspects, we bring out two statistics — Average Stay of a Player (No. of Seasons) and Average Age at Recruitment of a Player.

Viewing from an analytic perspective – in stead of the two aforementioned quantities, it may be wiser to look at their ratio. We call it ASAR ratio (Avg. Stay/ Avg. Age at Recruitment) technically. A player, when signed at younger age, tends to spend more times at that club. The dis-proportionality makes the ratio more interesting with tons of information concealed within it regarding the status quo of a club. Let us find out how it affects the performance from the following table (top 20 teams with best ASAR ratio) :

football asar ratio
20 Teams with Best ASAR Ratio


Clearly, the league leaders of top 5 leagues of Europe sits comfortably in the top 20 ASAR Club list. Out of 20, only five clubs are standing below the top 10 of their respective leagues. Borussia Dortmund and Everton are two big names among them. This season, these two clubs have found it difficult to get going – right from the scratch. Looking at their immense potential, they are expected to come back real soon to live up to the high expectations.

20 Teams with Worst ASAR Ratio

Now let us take a glimpse of the other side of the coin. Above lies the list of 20 clubs with worst ASAR ratio.

Four teams in the top 5 leagues are showing performances more than what are expected of them according to the ASAR ratio. Genoa and Palermo have improved their sides and they are having an amazing run to emerge as new Italian forces. On the other hand, Sevilla and Valencia should have been few places upper in the ASAR list, as far as their reputation stands in Spanish La Liga.

What we have seen so far from the tables have been confirmed with the statistical calculations which revealed strong correlation between ASAR ratio and the season’s performance of a club.

Now we intend to get into the real insights behind this anticipated relation. If a club signs a talented teenager, who can be a long time asset for them, it induces an increment in ASAR ratio and who denies the fact that young aspiring legs budding with potential of stardom can bring perennial success to the club.

The game had players like Giggs, Henry, Puyol, Zanetti and more who began their career at teens and spent more than 10 years at a club — thus helping ASAR ratio and leading their clubs to plenty accolades. Let us sustain the belief that future will be no different than the past and present, loyalty will add a taste to glory helping the beautiful game to run on its course.