The effect of seeding changes in the UEFA Champions League on competitive balance within the 2015/16 group stage
Walker, Anthony (2015) The effect of seeding changes in the UEFA Champions League on competitive balance within the 2015/16 group stage. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]
The aim of this study was to investigate the impact UEFA’s seeding changes would have on competitive balance within the 2015/16 Champions League group stage. Match outcome and UEFA coefficient ranking data were collected from 384 group stage games. Through Poisson regression, home and away attack and defence parameters were identified for each ranking which were used to create a match outcome simulator. The 2015/16 group stage tables were predicted and competitive balance was measured using the standard deviation of points which was then compared to previous seasons. Results suggest a minor enhancement of competitive balance achieved through increased randomness to group allocation. However, caution is advised when interpreting these results as it is apparent this field of research contains the fallacy of ‘more is better’ in regards to competitive balance. Optimal competitive balance is yet to be fully understood at the seasonal level and must reflect economic objectives rather than equality of playing strength.
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