New Report shows decline of competitive balance in European football

erica 1 nov

The 40th Monthly Report of the CIES Football Observatory analyses the evolution of competitive balance in 24 European leagues over the last 10 seasons.

The study reveals a clear trend towards a greater imbalance. The level of imbalance is particularly marked and on the increase in the big-5 leagues and the Champions League, where the economic divides between teams are very strong.

In 2017/18, big-5 league champions achieved a record of 83.3% of points. This proportion is 10% greater than that measured in 2008/09.

Over the ten seasons studied, the biggest average goal difference per match was measured for the UEFA Champions League: 1.58 goals. The premier competition of European football is also that presenting the highest proportion of matches with a goal gap of at least three: 21.0%.

According to the Report, “the concentration of resources goes hand in hand with the concentration of talents. Many teams and leagues are confined to a stepping-stone role for up and coming players. This permits the generation of profits on the transfer market.

However, the financial compensations from these transactions are not sufficient to halt the increasing competitive imbalance. The present situation favours the wealthiest clubs. Each day, they increase their sporting, economic and political domination”.

About the CIES Football Observatory

The CIES Football Observatory is a research group within the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES). Created in 2005 by Dr. Raffaele Poli and Dr. Loïc Ravenel, the CIES Football Observatory currently comprises a staff of four full-time permanent researchers who specialise in the statistical analysis of football. Click here for more information.

About the CIES

The International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) is an independent study centre located in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. It was created in 1995 as a joint venture between the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the University of Neuchâtel, the City and State of Neuchatel. Click here for more information. Click here for more information.

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Email: football.observatory@cies.ch