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Thu. 12 April 2018

New Monthly Report highlights the importance of squad stability

The first CIES Football Observatory Monthly Report published in January 2015 studied club stability across Europe. Three years later, the thirty-fourth edition develops this issue by illustrating the value of long-term planning for football clubs. The indicator selected is the percentage of players recruited by their employer club since less than one year.

The study reveals that the best performing teams have much more stable squads than lesser competitive ones. Between 2009 and 2017, big-5 league champions had on average only about one in four new players as squad members. This proportion can be considered as an optimal balance to achieve success.

The Report also highlights the increasing instability of teams across Europe. On the 1st of October 2017, 44.9% of players were recruited during the year. This figure was only 36.7% in 2009. If this trend continues, footballers who have been with their employer club for more than one year will soon represent less than half of squad members.

To limit the growing instability, football’s governing bodies should act against the increasing financial gaps between teams both nationally and internationally. They should also combat corrupt practices at both transfer market and club management levels. It is also necessary to limit the speculation around players’ mobility, notably through a greater protection of training clubs, the enforcement of the third-party ownership ban and the reinforcement of the regulations regarding football intermediaries.

Visit the exclusive CIES Football Observatory Digital Atlas to know more about the demographic features of teams in 31 top division leagues of UEFA member associations.