For fans of the current craze for infographics (I’m not convinced that’s even a word, but we’ll let it go) it doesn’t get any better than this.
The Economist has created this neat illustration of the relationship between success and financial clout in the English Premier League. It is a thing of beauty, despite my carping.
Wage spending (expressed along the x axis) correlates very closely with success (expressed on the Y axis but also as blue-ness and as size of the bubble).
Two issues emerge:
First – a ‘chicken and egg’ question still remains – does wealth drive success (as we are encouraged to assume) or does success over time lead to wealth. Or indeed are both driven by something else (history, tradition, fan base, being in the parlance ‘a big club’?)
Second – how amazing was Leicester City’s performance this season? They are the only League Champions ever (and only the second team to finish in the top four) to have had a wage bill below the league’s median figure. Truly a ‘rags-to-riches’ story. They do trouser quite a lot of money now as a consequence, both as direct prize money and through participation in next year’s Champion’s League. So expect them to move sharply to the right on this chart. It remains to be seen if they will remain quite so high up on the other scale.