Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Competitiveness in Soccer Leagues: An ordinal time series approach with evidence from the Premier League 1993 to 2014

Jones, Calvin and Jordan, Declan (2014): Competitiveness in Soccer Leagues: An ordinal time series approach with evidence from the Premier League 1993 to 2014.

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Abstract

This paper presents a novel approach to measuring competitiveness in sports leagues and tests the measure using evidence from the Premier League from 1993 to 2014. Traditional approaches to measuring the level of competitiveness have focused on win percentages and/or the dominance of subsets of teams over a number of seasons. The paper argues that these measures are not fully reflective of the core outcomes that teams and fans use to measure performance. An ordinal times series approach is proposed as an alternative measure of competitiveness. Applying the approach using data on end-of-season positions from 1993 to 2014, the paper finds a marginal decrease in league competitiveness over the period. The flexibility of an ordinal analysis approach is further demonstrated by considering the relative performances of subsets of teams based on location. The paper finds that North Eastern teams have suffered a long-term decline in performance on average while London teams are the best performing, and that their relative performance has also improved over the time period.

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