Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fire 'Em!

Usefulness of Dismissing and Changing the Coach in Professional Soccer

Andreas Heuer et al.

PLoS ONE, March 2011, e17664

Abstract: Whether a coach dismissal during the mid-season has an impact on the
subsequent team performance has long been a subject of controversial scientific discussion. Here we find a clear-cut answer to this question by using a recently developed statistical framework for the team fitness and by analyzing the first two moments of the effect of a coach dismissal. We can show with an unprecedented small statistical error for the German soccer league that dismissing the coach within the season has basically no effect on the subsequent performance of a team. Changing the coach between two seasons has no effect either. Furthermore, an upper bound for the actual influence of the coach on the team fitness can be estimated. Beyond the immediate relevance of this result, this study may lead the way to analogous studies for exploring the effect of managerial changes, e.g., in economic terms.

Wow. I'm not sure I have ever seen quite so many endogeneity problems in one study. If changing the coach mattered, teams would do it, and keep doing it, until it doesn't matter.

(Nod to Kevin Lewis)

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