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University of Reading and Paderborn University are organising a conference on the economics and finance of football. It is aimed to highlight high quality research of the football industry as well as to facilitate the cooperation between academics and practitioners.

Plenary speakers:

  • Pamela Wicker (Bielefeld University),
  • Mario Guajardo (NHH Norwegian School of Economics),
  • Brad Humphreys (West Virginia University),
  • James Reade (University of Reading).

Theoretical and empirical research papers that cover the economic, financial, social, and managerial aspects of the football industry are welcome. The list of possible topics includes, but is not limited to: transfer market, discrimination, football league regulations, women football, youth football, tournament design, optimisation of match strategies, corruption, betting, spectators’ demand, financial and social issues of the World Cup, scheduling, referee assignments, and competitive balance.

If you would like to attend this conference, which will be online via Microsoft Teams and will also have a local hub presence in Reading in the UK, please register using this form. The Reading Hub will be on our London Road Campus, which is within 15 minutes walk of the main railway station and a range of hotels. We’ll be in Building 22 on the campus, which you can find on the map here. We would recommend Premier Inn Reading Central, Hotel Ibis Styles, Hotel Novotel Reading Centre, Hotel Ibis Reading Centre, Pentahotel Reading and Travelodge Reading Central. For a more unusual experience, try The Great Expectations.

The conference schedule is below.

One of the principal goals of the conference is to provide each speaker the detailed feedback from the community of sports economists and people working in the field of operations research in sports. For that purpose, we ask that contributors submit full text versions of their paper two weeks in advance of the conference, hence on May 12 2022, and do so by sending them via email to This is not an essential requirement.

There is no conference fee. Participation is open to anyone interested in the field.


8th Western Football and Finance Conference Schedule


26-27 May 2022

All times are UK times (UTC+1)


Online Location: Microsoft Teams Room 1 and 2 ( for joining information)

In-Person Hub at University of Reading, London Road Campus L22 (G06 and G07)


Thursday May 26

12:00-12:45 Plenary 1            Pamela Wicker (Bielefeld Univ)                      (Room 1/Hub G06)

“Grassroots football and well-being”

13:00-14:30 Parallel 1a          Management                                                  (Room 1, Hub G06)

13:00-13:30    “Multi-club ownership – new model of success in football?”, Adam Metelski, Olivier Jarosz and Konstantin Kornakov

13:30-14:00    “Wisdom of crowds vs. managers: Evidence from Major League Soccer”, Petr Parshakov, Dmitry Kirpishchikov and Iuliia Naidenova

14:00-14:30    “What changes in a football club when owners change?” , Luis Carlos Sanchez, Angel Barajas and Patricio Sanchez-Fernandez

13:00-14:30 Parallel 1b          Labour I                                                          (Room 2, Hub G07)

13:00-13:30    “Three Decades of Football Player Valuation: Results from a Systematic Literature Review”, Maxence Franceschi, Jean-François Brocard, Florian Follert and Jean-Jacques Gouguet

13:30-14:00    “Plus-minus a couple of millions: a model for transfer fee evaluation”, Arne Maes, Dries Goossens, Lars Magnus Hvattum and Christophe Ley

14:00-14:30    “The designated player dilemma”, Johan Rewilak and Nick Watanabe

14:45-16:15 Parallel 2a          Demand                                                          (Room 1, Hub G06)

14:45-15:15    “A new paradigm for European football? The demand for the Super League”, Anthony Macedo, Marta Ferreira Dias and Paulo Reis Mourao

15:15-15:45    “A goal based index to analyze the competitive balance of a football league”, Soudeep Deb

15:45-16:15    “Price What You Want in football: the case of fan owned clubs “Unionistas de Salamanca” and “SD Logroñes””, Luis Carlos Sanchez

14:45-16:15 Parallel 2b          Covid-19                                                         (Room 2, Hub G07)

14:45-15:15    “Home advantage in football during the COVID-19 pandemic: the case of Russia”, Dmitriy Plekhanov

15:15-15:45    “COVID-19 Infections and Short-Run Worker Performance: Evidence from European Football”, Robert Simmons, David Butler, Robert Butler and Alexander Farnell

15:45-16:15    “COVID-19, Gender and Social Pressure”, Meshael Batarfi and James Reade

16:30-17:15 Plenary 2 Brad Humphreys, Univ. of West Virginia                   (Room 1, Hub G06)

“Match Outcome Uncertainty and Attendance: The Current State of Play”


Friday May 27

12:00-12:45 Plenary 3 Mario Guajardo, NHH Norwegian Sch. of Econ.       (Room 1, Hub G06)

“Sports scheduling in the time of the pandemic”

13:00-14:30 Parallel 3a          Rules/Scheduling                   (Room 1, Hub G06)

13:00-13:30    “Fairness in penalty shootouts: Is it worth using dynamic sequences?”, László Csató and Dóra Gréta Petróczy

13:30-14:00    “What is the optimal schedule for the UEFA Champions League groups?”, László Csató, Roland Molontay and József Pintér. Slides

14:00-14:30    “The allocation of additional slots for the FIFA World Cup”, Alex Krumer and Juan Moreno-Ternero

13:00-14:30 Parallel 3b          Strategy                                  (Room 2, Hub G07)

13:00-13:30    “Determinants of success in soccer: the Hungarian case”, Gergely Csurilla and Imre Fertő

13:30-14:00    “Efficiency of Shot Selection in the English Premier League”, Justin Ehrlich and Dominic Samangy. Slides.

14:00-14:30.  “Low Collusion Risk Designs of the FIFA World Cup with Groups of 3”, Waldemar Stronka. Slides.

14:45-16:15 Parallel 4a          Labour II                                 (Room 1, Hub G06)

14:45-15:15    “Talent Concentration and Competitive Imbalance”, Bernd Frick, Tommy Quansah and Markus Lang

15:15-15:45    “Compatriot bias in football: Are non-experts subjective?”, Petr Parshakov, Sofia Paklina, Dennis Coates and Dmitri Dagaev

15:45-16:15    “On the quality of sporting facilities and a range of economic and social outcomes”, Matthew Yeo and James Reade

14:45-16:15 Parallel 4b          Miscellaneous                         (Room 2, Hub G07)

14:45-15:15    “ A homage to Diego Maradona in mathematical models for football results prediction”, Alejandro Alvarez, Guillermo Duran and Ivan Monardo

15:15-15:45    “Aggression in Social Media: Why Football Fans Are Rude?”, Igor Tylkin

15:45-16:15    “Development of CSR practices within Moroccan professional football clubs”, Zineb Jibraili and Sanae Biaz

16:30-17:15 Plenary 4            James Reade, University of Reading           (Room 1, Hub G06)

“Exploring entertainment utility from football games”. Slides.

17:15 Conference Close