The January transfer window is upon us, and with several major clubs across the continent enduring tumultuous seasons, there are likely to be some fairly high profile comings and goings.
Every season billions of pounds change hands in the two periods where deals can take place across the globe, but despite the amount of the sports media’s attention devoted to the transfer market, evidence suggests there remains a surprising amount of uncertainty over what the fees involved actually are. Read more
The Red Devils have hardly undergone a Chelsea-esque implosion — they sit in 5th place at the time of writing — but the Old Trafford faithful have grown increasingly restless, an undercurrent of discontent growing into a crescendo of criticism as perceived lacklustre performances have been followed by the poor results many felt they deserved.
According to an FT analysis, those perceptions are backed up by the statistics. After seven years of near-unbroken dominance in terms of their results, Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure from the post of manager was followed by a dramatic decline.
By the end of David Moyes’ solitary term in charge, Man United’s results — after adjusting for opposition quality — didn’t even put them among the fourth strongest sides in the league. The arrival of Louis van Gaal brought about a recovery: by the end of his first campaign the club was — only just — back among the four strongest sides in the league in terms of results. Read more
Last Thursday Chelsea’s owners made the decision many felt has been coming since August, and dismissed their talismanic manager José Mourinho.
Thus comes to an end his second spell at the reins of the club. The first ended in relative stagnation, but the second was truly a meteoric rise and fall.
With the aid of a statistical examination of the last 15 seasons, we can see the best and worst of Mourinho, and get a clue as to some of what went wrong this time around. Read more
Last week Garry Monk became the seventh Premier League manager to be dismissed by his club in 2015, and the 11th top flight departure overall in the same period when resignations and contract expiries are included.
Monk had been in the job for just under two years, and while you could be forgiven for thinking this is precious little time, it actually comes in at almost twice the median across all Premier League managers in 2015. Read more
Jamie Vardy’s record-setting Premier League goalscoring streak for Leicester City has been hailed as one of the most remarkable individual achievements of modern English football, but how does it compare to similar feats elsewhere?
Many have pointed out that Vardy’s run of scoring in 11 successive top flight English matches remains behind that of Jimmy Dunne, who made it to 12 for Sheffield United in 1931/32.
But given how much the game has changed over the intervening 60-plus years in terms of tactics, fitness and other factors, perhaps a better way of contextualising his record is to compare it to those of his contemporaries. Read more
Ever since the Open Era began in 1968, we can identify the individuals and their periods of success. First came Laver, Rosewall and Newcombe; next was Borg’s reign, bookended by Connors, McEnroe and Lendl. Wilander and Becker ushered in the ’90s before giving way to Sampras and Agassi.
Federer, Nadal and now Djokovic have run the show since then, but there is no heir apparent. The average age of the ATP top 10 is 29.7 — the highest it has ever been — with an unprecedented five of its current members aged over 30. Read more
The last time athletics was engulfed by doping concerns of the volume seen last week was the 1980s, when performance enhancing substances including testosterone were commonplace among elite competitors.
This doping dark age left a mark still visible today in the form of records set decades ago that are still yet to be broken – and in some cases yet even to be approached. Read more
A dozen games into the new Premier League season, Chelsea’s title defence has been anaemic, and few — if any — saw it coming. But with the aid of hindsight, shots data and the Elo ratings system, we can obtain a clue as to exactly when their troubles began: January 1 2015. Read more
Follow the progress of a barrel of oil from extraction to end user to see how the Isis production system works, who is making money from it, and why it is proving so challenging to disrupt Read more
The World Athletics Championships are taking place this week in Beijing, and Usain Bolt’s narrow victory over Justin Gatlin in the men’s 100m final rounded off the opening Sunday.
Always one of the biggest moments of any athletics meet, this year’s race was especially eagerly anticipated given the narrative that had built around Gatlin. Read more
How do standard of play and level of competition vary across Europe’s top leagues, and can this tell us which provides the best football?
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Between 2009/10 and 2014/15 spending by England’s local authorities was cut by a fifth — more than twice the rate of spending cuts to the rest of the UK public sector. Our Local Cuts Checker database brings together a myriad of data to allow readers to explore the impact of those cuts in their areas.
Bank chief executives’ pay has rarely been out of the news in the six years that Equilar and the Financial Times have been publishing this annual analysis. While the pay of almost all the bank bosses in the study increased in 2014, it remains well below pre-crisis levels and is likely to remain so.
Last week we looked at the top goalscorers in modern European football, focusing on the importance of remaining injury free for those who go on to become true greats.
This time around we’re taking a different view of the same data to tell another side to the story: the important distinction between a clinical finisher and a reliable source of goals. Read more
By Robin Kwong and Steve Bernard
Polls suggest that the UK general election on May 7 will result in a hung parliament. A coalition, or a minority government backed by a “confidence and supply” deal with other parties, is likely to come to power.
This interactive graphic shows the scenarios possible based on the current projection from ElectionForecast.co.uk. Read more
Our new unemployment tracker shows the latest jobs data across the European Union, including top-line figures for each country’s constituent regions. The most recent figures are for September 2014.
You can also download the latest data using the link beneath the graphic. Read more
The Electoral Commission keeps a record of every donation above £7,500 to Britain’s political parties. Although nominally transparent, the records are difficult to use: the only unique identifier for each donor is their name.
This is further complicated by the inconsistent use of titles and initials as well as addresses attached to the names of businesses and organisations.
The FT has cleaned the data to make it easier to use with this interactive graphic. Donations to individual members of parliament are included in their party’s totals. Read more
Some have suggested the BBC should become like Netflix and fund itself through viewer subscriptions. If you were in charge, what TV channels and radio stations would you offer?
In 1961, the average UK 20-something sat in the upper third of the income distribution after deducting housing costs, but the subsequent 50 years have seen a dramatic reversal in their fortunes. Explore the UK’s widening generation gap over income with this interactive graphic. Read more