Salary determination in professional football : empirical evidence from goalkeepers

Berri, David and Butler, David and Rossi, Giambattista and Simmons, Rob and Tordoff, Conor (2023) Salary determination in professional football : empirical evidence from goalkeepers. European Sport Management Quarterly. ISSN 1618-4742

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Research Question We consider how elite European football clubs use available and measurable performance data to value personnel by focussing on the goalkeeper labour market. We test the determinants of goalkeeper pay and discuss if football clubs effectively separate goalkeeper performances from outfield players. Research Methods Matching an exclusive salary dataset with rich performance measures, we estimate a Mincer-type salary model for a sample of 260 goalkeepers from five European football leagues (Premier League, Ligue 1, Bundesliga 1, Serie A and La Liga). Our dataset covers seven seasons from 2013/14 to 2019/20. Results and Findings We find that clubs use primitive defensive statistics to determine goalkeeper pay. Goalkeepers are paid based on co-production and team outcomes rather than individual workload. Also features of goalkeeper ball distribution positively affect salary - this indicates the importance of goalkeepers to initiating offensive moves. Implications Our evidence suggests that decision-makers within clubs are not optimally decoupling individual performance from team qualities. As such, clubs could improve how they value a key team member. Identifying the failure to use advanced statistics is especially important as forming contracts in this setting is costly.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
European Sport Management Quarterly
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? goalkeeperperofrmancesalaryefficiencystrategy and managementtourism, leisure and hospitality management ??
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Deposited On:
24 Feb 2023 14:00
Last Modified:
11 Mar 2024 00:33