IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Competitive balance in European football: Comparison by adapting measures: National measure of seasonal imbalance and top 3

Listed author(s):
  • GOOSSENS, Kelly
Registered author(s):

    Competitive balance is a widely used concept in team sports and often put forward and accepted as a justification of exemptions and interventions. We describe this concept and construct measures in order to compare European national highest league football. We believe that in a unified Europe an international comparison is requisite and precedes the empirical evaluation of theories and implications of policy decisions. We concentrate on two kinds of uncertainty: seasonal imbalance and dominance of teams over seasons and adapt three measures for them. We introduce the National Measure of Seasonal Imbalance (NAMSI): the standard deviation of the winning percentages divided by the standard deviation when there is complete certainty about all outcomes of the games. To include championship dominance we calculate the number of teams that entered the top 3 in a period of 3 years as well as constructing the Lorenz curves for the distribution of championship titles. We compare the highest leagues of 11 European football countries from the season 1963-1964 until 2004-2005 to determine whether there are diverging levels between countries and between measures. We add cluster analysis to show that European competitive balance differs among countries and that depending on the interpretation of the concept other groups exist. We show that the big5 are not necessarily one group and caution for evaluation of unified interventions is hence appropriate. Ranking of the countries learns that Portugal, the Netherlands and Greece are the least balanced countries independent of the chosen definition and hence measure.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2005034.

    in new window

    Length: 45 pages
    Date of creation:
    Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2005034
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Prinsstraat 13, B-2000 Antwerpen

    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2005034. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joeri Nys)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.