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  • Daniel Kamenetzky


Following the model proposed in the previous article (How to reduce the “non-productive” economic expenses that the players generate for their clubs), I want to offer a case analysis to put into perspective what has already been presented. During the last 6 years, and according to the information published by Transfermarket, Luis Suarez was without activity with his club due to sports injuries for 329 days (1 year in total). Considering that its average "Market Value" in the time studied is approximately 70 million Euros (Approximately 400 million Euros the sum of its Market Value in 6 years), we can infer that the club invested approximately 60 million Euros ( 15% of the total) for recovery time from injuries.

In total 50% of the time (3 years) and its respective economic value of approximately 200 million Euros were not expressed in sports performance for the club and were intended to pay for what we have called “non-productive time for the club.”

As I explained in the previous article, there is a great opportunity for financial savings for clubs not only during the negotiation of the acquisition of players and/or but also during the "use" of the assets acquired (in this case the players). It is unlikely to find in other industry workers who are allowed 50% efficiency, as in the case of Suarez. The possibility of increasing work / economic efficiency in the club-player relationship is found in three main areas (see more detail in the previous article): 1) reduction in sports injuries; 2) reduction in suspensions due to sanctions and 3) international commitment policies.

Analysis of the Suarez case in particular: 1) Reduction in numbers and risk of sports injuries: In the last 6 years, the highest percentage of injuries were located in the right leg. The knees, in particular, suffered the greatest impact. Studying the mechanics of Suarez's career (we know that running is the most repeated activity in soccer), we will see that he has a low technical quality considering the level of play and the years of training to which he has been subjected (see attached photos and videos).

The mechanical aspects described have been with Suarez since the beginning of his career. Therefore they could have been analyzed a long time ago, helping to reduce the risk of injuries and eventually improving his speed and endurance capabilities.

This means that with proper mechanical evaluation and methodical technical training, Suarez could have probably avoided (or at least reduced the risk) of many of the injuries that he had suffered. Another separate discussion deserves the evaluation of the process of return to practice and competition which also presents different opportunities, positive or negative, for the biological future of the athlete. For example, the work in sand or on unstable surfaces that Suarez carried out after each knee injury increases the time and instability of the support and therefore the mechanical load. It also decreases the speed of recovery of the knees' biological materials.

2) Disciplinary sanctions are another area that, in Suarez's case, is critical to the club's financial spending. The history of his behavior is well documented. The question here is what compensation/penalty model could be implemented so that a player like Suarez does not consume millions of Euros just for aggression during sporting events. 3) Regarding international events, it will be necessary to evaluate club/country federation relationships to establish cost-sharing models.

The combination of Big Data to direct new perspectives exploration, together with Small Data to search for detail, generate a powerful synergy when innovating decision-making models in sport. In the case of the “non-productive” expenses that the clubs incur, today it is more a political decision not to act than an impossibility to know.



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