Soccernomics (2018 World Cup Edition): Why England Loses; Why Germany, Spain, and France Win; and Why One Day Japan, Iraq, and the United States Will Become Kings of the World's Most Popular Sport

Soccernomics (2018 World Cup Edition): Why England Loses; Why Germany, Spain, and France Win; and Why One Day Japan, Iraq, and the United States Will Become Kings of the World's Most Popular Sport

by Simon Kuper, Stefan Szymanski

Paperback(2018 World Cup Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781568587516
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 04/24/2018
Edition description: 2018 World Cup Edition
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 101,843
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.12(h) x 1.25(d)

About the Author

Simon Kuper is one of the world's leading writers on soccer. The winner of the William Hill Prize for sports book of the year in Britain, Kuper writes a weekly column for the Financial Times. He lives in Paris, France.
Stefan Szymanski is the Stephen J. Galetti Collegiate Professor of Sport Management at the University of Michigan's School of Kinesiology. Tim Harford has called him "one of the world's leading sports economists." He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Table of Contents

1 Driving with a Dashboard: In Search of New Truths About Soccer 1

Part I The Clubs

Racism, Stupidity, Bad Transfers, Capital Cities, the Leicester Fairy Tale, and What Actually Happened in That Penalty Shoot-Out in Moscow.

2 Gentlemen Prefer Blonds: How to Avoid Silly Mistakes in the Transfer Market 13

3 The Worst Business in the World: Why Soccer Clubs Haven't Made Money 56

4 Safer than the Bank of England: Why Soccer Clubs Almost Never Disappear 79

5 Crooked Business: Soccer's Corruption and the History of Tech 89

6 A Decent Business at Last? Be Careful What You Wish For 104

7 Need Not Apply: Does Soccer Discriminate Against Black People? 121

8 Do Coaches Matter? The Cult of the White Manager 138

9 The Secret of Claude Makelele: How "Match Data" Are Changing the Game on the Field 165

10 The Economist's Fear of the Penalty Kick: Are Penalties Cosmically Unfair, or Only If You Are Nicolas Anelka? 194

11 The Suburban Newsagents: City Sizes and Soccer Prizes 216

Part II The Fans

Loyalty, Suicides, and Happiness

12 A Fan's Suicide Notes: Do People Jump Off Buildings When Their Teams Lose? 241

13 Happiness: Why Hosting a World Cup Is Good for You 256

14 Football versus Football: A Tale of Two Empires 279

15 Are Soccer Fans Polygamists? A Critique of the Nick Hornby Model of Fandom 305

Part III Countries

Rich and Poor, Tom Thumb, England, Spain, Palestine, and the Champions of the Future

16 The Curse of Poverty: Why Poor Countries Are Poor at Sports 325

17 Why England Loses and Other Europeans Win: Beaten by a Dishwasher 346

18 Made in Amsterdam: The Rise of Spain and the Triumph of European Knowledge Networks 396

19 Tom Thumb: The Best Little Soccer Country on Earth 410

20 Core to Periphery: The Future Map of Global Soccer 427

21 The Future: The Best of Times-and the Smartphone 449

Acknowledgments 459

Notes from the Authors 461

Select Bibliography 465

Index 473

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Soccernomics (2018 World Cup Edition): Why England Loses; Why Germany, Spain, and France Win; and Why One Day Japan, Iraq, and the United States Will 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
alyssama121 More than 1 year ago
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. This is an honest review.* I am marginally a soccer fan. I used to follow the English Premiership very closely when I was in high school and college, and I always get excited for the World Cup. These days, I tend to mostly get reinvested in soccer during US qualifying for the World Cup (sigh) through the World Cup and just kind of casually absorb other games from time to time. That said, this book is coming out right at a time that my interest in the soccer is beginning to ramp up again. Soccernomics is written by a sports economist and journalist who attempt to take an economic approach of examining various topics in soccer. I think that the two authors do a really nice job balancing each other and being upfront about when they have disagreements or biases (this second point being especially important since, in a lot of ways, the book is trying to remove biases from the equation). The book spends a lot of time focusing on the traditional economics of the sport, like how clubs can make money and how money is spent in the transfer windows (as you would expect from title). These discussions are interesting to a degree, and if you are really interested in economics, then this would be quite a strength of the book. However, with few exceptions, I found these parts of the book to be the least interesting. Besides having some clever ways of explaining how important players are, or going into the process by which a lot of decisions are made in the transfer markets, I found myself often skimming past some of the more intense sections of these parts of the book. Now the above may make it seem like I did not enjoy the book, but the truth is where I think the book really shines is by using economics/statistics to analyze things that are completely outside the “economy” of soccer in terms of the money spent. When the book attempts to answer questions like: Is soccer statistically racist? or What effect do clubs have on fans? (and vice versa) it is at its strongest and most interesting, in my opinion. These are topics that I think the average soccer fan has thought about a lot but may not have had a way to think about it in any sort of objective way. Being able to see information that, at times, confirms gut instincts and, at other times, exposes them was something that I thoroughly enjoyed throughout my read. While the book does try to focus on soccer as a global game, I will just add a warning that there is an inordinate focus on the English Premiership for examples and data. It is not exclusive and I think that the authors do a good job explaining the important information of whatever examples they bring up, but I think to get the most out of the book, you would need to have at least a minor familiarity with the English Premiership and Leagues in general. This is somewhat less true in the last section that focuses on the World Cup. Overall, the book was a really interesting read and I would recommend it as an excellent tool to satisfy any craving for soccer material you may have (in the lead to a World Cup, like myself, or otherwise).