Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the US, Japan, Australia, Turkeyand Even IraqAre Destined to Become the Kings of the Worlds Most Popular Sport Paperback – May 1 2012
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"If you're a football fan, I'll save you some time: read this book ... compulsive reading ... thoroughly convincing."
"Szymanksi has recently published the best introduction to sports economics ... while Kuper is probably the smartest of the new generation of super-smart sportswriters ... fascinating stories."
"[Kuper and Szymanski] basically trash every cliché about football you ever held to be true. It's bravura stuff the study of managers buying players and building a club is one you’ll feel like photocopying and sending to your team's chairman"
Paddy Harverson, former communications director of Manchester United, Financial Times
"Demolishes ... many soccer shibboleths ... well argued, too. Szymanski, an economist, knows his stuff, and Kuper, a born contrarian and FT sports writer, is incapable of cliché ... great stories and previously unknown nuggets."
"One for the thinkers"
"More thoughtful than most of its rivals and, by football standards, postively intellectual ... Kuper, a brilliantly contrary columnist, and Szymanski, an economics professor ... find plenty of fertile territory in their commendable determination to overturn the lazy preconceptions rife in football."
"Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski are a highly effective and scrupulously rational team, combining the former's detailed and nuanced understanding of European football with the latter's sophisticated econometric analysis. With a remarkable lightness of touch, they desmonstrate the limits of conventional thinking in football, as well as the real patterns of behaviour that shape sporting outcomes."
About the Author
Stefan Szymanski is Professor of Economics and MBA Dean at Cass Business School in London. Tim Harford has called him one of the world’s leading sports economists”. Stefan has a global reputation, and has published in the Journal of Political Economy, Journal of Economic Literature and Economic Journal. He has also co-authored two books: Winners and Losers: The Business Strategy of Football and National Pastime: How Americans Play Baseball and the Rest of the World Plays Soccer. His next book, Fans of the World; Unite!, co-authored with Steve Ross and dealing with the reform of US sports leagues, will be published by Stanford University Press in autumn 2008. He has acted as a consultant to government and to several major sports organizations, such as the FIA (motor sport), UEFA (football) and ICC (cricket). He lives in London, UK.
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It also uses statistics to reveal the social unity that soccer fosters. I was very moved by the chapter that focuses on suicide and fandom (and club loyalty at large).
Please do not be scared away by the word "statistics". I hate math as much if not more than anyone. This book is extremely accessible to the average reader, but still deep enough to pique intellectual curiosity.
In short, Soccernomics is an absolute must-read if you are a soccer fan, period.