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Wed. 22 May 2024

Sustainable squad management: Arsenal at the top

Good squad planning is a key factor in the success of clubs. The 465th CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post ranks almost 800 clubs from 59 leagues around the world according to a continuity index that considers the stability of the squad, its age structure and the contract policy*. This allows us revealing the teams that are both the most stable and the best prepared to maintain a good level of stability in the seasons to come.

Arsenal tops the table ahead of another English team qualified for next season’s Champions League, Aston Villa, with Premier League winners Manchester City fourth. Germany’s Borussia Mönchengladbach are third, suggesting an improvement in performance after a disappointing 2023/24 season, provided the club does not decide to dramatically change its policy. City Football Group’s members New York City are fifth.

In the top ten positions of the rankings also are other clubs with an outstanding squad management policy such as English Premier League’s Brentford, the Belgians of Union St-Gilloise, German champions Bayer Leverkusen, the Ukrainians of Rukh Lviv and Spanish Liga’s Real Sociedad. At the opposite end of the table, we mainly find under-performing teams from leagues with a relatively low level of competitiveness.

* Stability is measured by the number of players fielded in the league over the last three seasons, age structure by the percentage of minutes in the current season by footballers aged 31 or over (excluding goalkeepers) and contract policy by the proportion of minutes by footballers whose contracts expire no later than the end of 2025. The continuity index is the average of the three variables indexed on a base of 100, with the maximum for the lowest turnover and the lowest dependence on ageing or short-contract players.

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