Deciding the true value of a footballer in the transfer market has been for long an arbitrary process, with no fixed objective method to evaluate a footballer’s worth. But a new study released by the academic team at the CIES Football Observatory in Switzerland has come forward to help clubs, officials, scouts and agents to calculate the precise worth of a player.
|Bale : Not worth 100 million|
The study includes giving an ‘objective’ market value to 3,032 players across the 98 clubs who played their league football in the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1 in 2012-13.
According to the study, Lionel Messi is the most valuable player in the world and his objective market value is between €217m and €253m (£185m-£215m). In all, there are 60 footballers in the top 5 league of the world, each with a market value of €20m-plus.
A number of parameters have been used to calculate the objective market value of the player. The full publication deals with 4 chapters on various club and player-specific parameters. The publication, titled CIES Football Observatory Annual Review, can be downloaded here.
In a nutshell, the four chapters deal with the following:
Chapter 1: League Comparison on basis of competitiveness, home advantage and pitch production
Chapter 2: Club comparison on the basis of player performances, age structure of players and contract lengths
Chapter 3: Most productive players based on 5 criteria: shooting, chance creation, take on, distribution and recovery
Chapter 4: For the first time ever, the Observatory’s statistical economic model to value players using objective criteria, based on actual transfers completed by the Big-5 leagues since the 2009/10.
The model helps in providing real-time evaluation of a player based on the changing performances of the footballer.
The objective market value of a player is simply the guide price, and is not the actual worth of the player. The guide price is used as a reference point; ultimately clubs will pay whatever they feel is right.
The report’s lead author, Raffaele Poli, says: ‘One of the reasons that we have designed this model is because there is always immense interest in the transfer market, not least from the various parties who operate within it, and yet there has been an absence of any kind of objective benchmark for prices, until now.
‘Football clubs consider all kinds of information when making decisions, and this should help them to make more informed decisions, at a glance.
‘While there is no “right” price for any given footballer, our data can assist in objectively identifying a player’s value in the market place having considered a range of factors including what prices were paid in the recent past for players with similar characteristics.’
As far as the guide prices are concerned, a number of factors decide the position of each player. Contract lengths, club performance, experience in European competitions and player’s age – all affect the value. e.g For 2 players with the same age and performance, the length of contract remaining would determine the value of the player.
With this model, we can see that while Real Madrid are prepared to shell out €100 million for Gareth Bale, his actual value falls between €43.5 to €50 million, since he is 24, hasn’t played much in European competitions, has only had 2 successful seasons with a club that is ranked below the elite clubs.
Of the 60 players, 7 each are currently playing for Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United, five for Manchester City and Bayern Munich and four each for Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund.
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