• Managing performance expectations in association football

      Fry, John; Serbera, J-P.; Wilson, R.J. (2021-10)
      Motivated by excessive managerial pressure and sackings, together with associated questions over the inefficient use of scarce resources, we explore realistic performance expectations in association football. Our aim is to improve management quality by accounting for information asymmetry. Results highlight uncertainty caused both by football’s low-scoring nature and the intensity of the competition. At a deeper level we show that fans and journalists are prone to under-estimate uncertainties associated with individual matches. Further, we quantify reasonable expectations in the face of unevenly distributed resources. In line with the statactivist approach we call for more rounded assessments to be made once the underlying uncertainties are adequately accounted for. Managing fan expectations is probably impossible though the potential for constructive dialogue remains.