What Does It Mean to Be “Competitive”? Using Simulation to Reveal Competitive Balance in English Association Football

Matthew Hood and R. Todd Jewell

This paper illustrates the value of using betting data to simulate an ex-ante distribution of league-point outcomes for English professional association football. Competition in the three tiers of the English Football League (EFL) is much more balanced than in the English Premier League (EPL). The competition at the top of the tables is more concentrated than at the bottom of the tables. Clubs relegated into a lower league tend to perform well the next season. Still, this effect does not seem to be impacted by parachute payments given to those relegated from the EPL into the second division.

DOI: http://doi.org/10.32731/IJSF/173.082022.01