Determinants of Stoppage Time Awarded to Teams in the English Premier League

By Watanabe, Nicholas M.; Wicker, Pamela et al. | International Journal of Sport Finance, November 2015 | Go to article overview

Determinants of Stoppage Time Awarded to Teams in the English Premier League


Watanabe, Nicholas M., Wicker, Pamela, Reuter, James C., International Journal of Sport Finance


Introduction

The final match of the 2014 UEFA Champions League showed that stoppage time is important in football (soccer) matches: Real Madrid was awarded five minutes of stoppage time when it was one goal behind at the end of the second half. Sergio Ramos scored the equalizer in the third minute of the stoppage time so that Real Madrid forced two 15-minute overtime periods during which they finally won the match (Spiegel, 2014). Also, the 1999 UEFA Champions League final between FC Bayern Munich and Manchester United was decided in stoppage time: FC Bayern Munich entered stoppage time with a one-goal lead, but Manchester United scored two goals within three minutes of stoppage time and, thus, won the Champions League (Fussball-Woche, 2013). Moreover, the championship of the 2011-2012 season in the English Premier League (EPL) was decided in stoppage time: Manchester City scored two goals in the first and third minute of the stoppage time and beat Manchester United in both the match and the standings. Both teams had 89 points, but the goal difference was in favor of Manchester City (Express, 2012). The championship of the 2000-2001 season of the German Football Bundesliga was also determined in stoppage time on the last match day: FC Bayern Munich scored the equalizer in the fourth minute of the stoppage time against Hamburg and was, thus, one point ahead of FC Schalke 04 (TZ, 2012). Thus, the stoppage time awarded to teams is not only critical in knock-out matches, but also in national championship races.

The goals scored in stoppage time (when they are decisive for the match outcome) can affect a team's standing in the table, which, in turn, affects the qualification for European competitions (UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League), whether teams are relegated to the lower division, and, ultimately, the revenues of clubs. There are sometimes only a few points difference between qualifying and non-qualifying teams, and between teams that are relegated to the lower division and teams that manage to stay in the league. While qualifying for the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League is associated with significant increases in revenues in the following season, being relegated to the lower division leads to significant financial losses. For example, in the 2012-2013 UEFA Champions League a total of 904.6 million EUR was distributed to clubs with 8.6 million EUR being awarded to every team that qualified for the group stage (UEFA, 2013a). In the same season, a total of 209 million EUR was distributed in the UEFA Europa League with every team that qualified for the group stage earning 1.3 million EUR (UEFA, 2013b). For teams being relegated, the loss of television revenues is particularly significant. For example, in the EPL every club can expect to earn approximately 40 million GBP in broadcast income, while clubs in the Championship (second division) only generate 3 million GBP in television revenues (Switzer, 2011). Thus, the costs of not qualifying for the international UEFA competitions and the respective costs of relegation are substantial.

Since the stoppage time awarded to teams can be critical to teams and may affect their revenues, the purpose of this study is to examine the factors that determine the amount of stoppage time a team is awarded at the referee's discretion. That is, a referee in a professional football match is the final arbiter over when the whistle will be blown to signal the end of a match. While previous research has already examined the determinants of stoppage time in professional football, no distinction was made between incidents (e.g., goals, substitutions, fouls, red cards, yellow cards) during regulation time in the second half and during stoppage time. Additionally, this research employs a new variable to measure the number of seconds matches were stopped for treatment of injuries. The empirical setting is the EPL where data for this research was collected by examining every single event that occurred in the second half of each match of the 2012-2013 and the 2013-2014 seasons. …

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