Football is becoming more predictable; network analysis of 88 thousand matches in 11 major leagues

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Title: Football is becoming more predictable; network analysis of 88 thousand matches in 11 major leagues
Other Titles: Football is becoming boring; Network analysis of 88 thousands matches in 11 major leagues
Authors: Maimone, Victor MartinsYasseri, Taha
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Date: 15-Dec-2021
Online since: 2022-01-13T12:09:02Z
Abstract: In recent years, excessive monetization of football and professionalism among the players have been argued to have affected the quality of the match in different ways. On the one hand, playing football has become a high-income profession and the players are highly motivated; on the other hand, stronger teams have higher incomes and therefore afford better players leading to an even stronger appearance in tournaments that can make the game more imbalanced and hence predictable. To quantify and document this observation, in this work, we take a minimalist network science approach to measure the predictability of football over 26 years in major European leagues. We show that over time, the games in major leagues have indeed become more predictable. We provide further support for this observation by showing that inequality between teams has increased and the home-field advantage has been vanishing ubiquitously. We do not include any direct analysis on the effects of monetization on football’s predictability or therefore, lack of excitement; however, we propose several hypotheses which could be tested in future analyses.
Funding Details: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: The Royal Society
Journal: Royal Society Open Science
Volume: 8
Issue: 12
Copyright (published version): 2021 The Authors
Keywords: FootballNetworkPerditionCentrality
DOI: 10.1098/rsos.210617
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 2054-5703
This item is made available under a Creative Commons License:
Appears in Collections:Sociology Research Collection
Geary Institute Research Collection

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