The initial Transfer Price Index 2011/12 Premier League Predictions were published using squad data as of 11th August, some 3 weeks before the end of the transfer window. Since then there have been many big money moves including Nasri, Crouch, Meireles and Arteta.
So just how has this affected the original predictions?
- CTPP = Current Transfer Purchase Price. The player’s original transfer value adjusted for football inflation using the same method as the Retail Price Index. (Andriy Shevchenko remains the highest CTPP, his £30.8m transfer in July 2006 now worth £68.2m)
- Sq£ = The cost of a club’s squad for a season in CTPP
- £XI = The average cost (in CTPP) of the starting XI’s in Premier League matches that season
- MSq£ = Multiple of average Sq£. Not how much a squad costs in CTPP, but how much more (or less) it costs versus the average squad that season.
The end of the transfer window confirmed that there is unprecedented imbalance in the distribution of the cost of squads (the standard deviation of MSq£ is the highest that it’s been). Over the history of the Premier League, teams that have the average squad cost for that season (MSq£ = 1) have typically finished in 11th place. As of September 1st only the top 6 have MSq£ > 1
The original predictions resulted in 5 “bands” where a number of clubs were very closely grouped in the MSq£ model. In our opinion, the only real scope for variation is the positioning within a band and the subjective predictions of the TPI team are used to rank teams within a band.
The position at the end of the Summer 2011 transfer window removed most of the banding and as a result things became more clear cut (as you can see in the table below, only the orange, yellow and grey bands remain). The top 12 are now ranked in order of Sq£ with the TPI team’s predictions only needed for 5th and 6th. The original predictions have changed slightly for positions 7 to 11 in the table. The green cells signify where the Sq£ and/or MSq£ is higher on September 1st than on August 11th.
1) The “big 3”: Chelsea, Man City and Man Utd
Between them, Chelsea and United have 5 of the top 7 biggest CTPP transfers in their squads
Man City have the largest number of players in the top 10% of Premier League CTPP
It’s difficult to convey just how far these 3 are ahead of the rest in the MSq£ model. However, there is only a 2.5% chance of Man United finishing outside the top 3. For Chelsea and Man City it’s less than 1%
2) “Champions League aspirants” (4th to 6th): Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal
The model has shown that if a club wants a better than 50% chance of getting a Champions League spot it needs MSq£ of at least 1.98. Neither Spurs, Liverpool or Arsenal are anywhere near that figure so the race for 4th could be extremely close.
3) “Europa League aspirants” (7th to 9th): Aston Villa, Sunderland and Everton
Note that due to a swing of £25m in squad cost between Aston Villa and Everton, this band no longer exists and Fulham are now on their own in 10th.
However the model still substantiates the perceived “glass ceiling” of the Premier League. We are 95% certain that none of Aston Villa, Everton and Sunderland will finish in the top 6.
4) “Mid-Table security” (11th and 12th): Newcastle and Stoke
Stoke’s late spending in the transfer window has elevated them to this new band and given them a squad cost that is very close to Newcastle. We are 95% certain that there are only 12 teams that can possibly finish in the top 10. Newcastle and Stoke are the last of these.
5) “Survival as priority” (13th-16th): Wolves, Wigan, Blackburn and Bolton
4 clubs covered by just £9m CTPP. We are 95% confident that all of them cannot finish in the top 10 and all have MSq£ close enough to the promoted sides to make a season long relegation battle likely. ‘Lady Luck’ and injuries will dictate their finishing position as much as the MSq£ model.
6) “Relegation Favourites” (17th to 20th): West Brom, QPR, Norwich and Swansea
If a club wants to have a better than even chance of avoiding relegation it needs MSq£ of at least 0.2. Currently West Brom are fractionally over this threshold at 0.21 and QPR just under it at 0.19. The MSq£ model suggests flipping a coin between QPR and West Brom to see who joins Norwich and Swansea in relegation.
Following the Summer 2011 transfer window, the subjective predictions of the TPI Team, now have 17 teams either the same as their MSq£ rank or within 1 place. The only exceptions are:
- West Brom We suggest 14th instead of 17th
- Man Utd We think 1st instead of 3rd
- Chelsea We think 3rd instead of 1st
It will be interesting to see if we outperform the model or prove horribly mistaken.