BASIS OF PREPARATION: Player Valuation
What is the KPMG Player Valuation Tool?
KPMG´s Football Benchmark Player Valuation Tool provides estimations of professional football players´ market values based on proprietary algorithms.
Which players are valued?
The KPMG Player Valuation Tool appraises the value of all club players from the following twelve leagues:
- English Premier League
- Spanish La Liga
- Italian Serie A
- German Bundesliga
- French Ligue 1
- Dutch Eredivisie
- Belgian Pro League
- Portuguese Primeira Liga
- Turkish Süper Lig
- Brazilian Serie A
- Argentine Primera División
- EFL Championship (second tier)
A player´s market value estimation is not available if a player has not played in any of the aforementioned professional football leagues in the last two seasons (2019/20 and 2020/21) or if his playing time was less than 450 minutes in those seasons combined. As a result, there are players who are not yet included in our analysis. Furthermore, season calendar issues (sporting season vs. calendar year season) have also been considered in our analysis.
How is a player's market value indication calculated?
The proprietary algorithms used for these purposes rely heavily upon an analysis of past football player transactions taking place during the last eight football seasons (from 2013/14 to 2019/20). After reviewing thousands of transfers, the Football Benchmark team of KPMG's Sports Advisory practice has devised a linear regression model (generalized linear model) to identify the most relevant variables that influence the value of a player. All variables that have an impact on the transfer values and that could be collected were considered during the development phase of the models.
In so doing, several drivers – each with their own specific weight – were identified as key to estimating the market value of football players. These are:
- Player´s playing position (i.e. goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, forward);
- Age and nationality;
- Contract: assessment of a player´s contractual situation with his current club;
- Individual sports performance: assessment of the player´s on-pitch performance (e.g. goals, assists, minutes played, dribbles, tackles);
- Disciplinary actions (i.e. number of fouls, number of red and yellow cards);
- Assessment of the player´s performance with his national team (e.g. number of international matches, international goals);
- Assessment of the player´s media and commercial potential (if significant);
- Team performance and characteristics: sporting results, league competitiveness, economic and financial aspects of the club, etc.;
- Team dependence: evaluation of the importance of a given player in his playing team;
- Timing of player´s transfer and economic profiles of potential recruiting and selling clubs.
It is important to note that several models were developed in order to fully capture the specific characteristics of different playing positions. This means that goalkeepers, defenders, midfielders and forwards are valued on the basis of sporting performance variables that were found to be the most relevant to each position; for example, tackling is more important for the assessment of defenders than for forwards. However, several variables are common across all models (e.g. age, length of contract, performance with national team).
Whilst every effort has been made by the Football Benchmark team of KPMG's Sports Advisory practice to make the value analysis between professional players consistent and comparable, in undertaking this research we faced several challenges which are difficult to overcome. Differences in the timing of transactions considered, the currencies in which player transfers take place and the fluctuation of exchange rates limit, to a certain extent, the comparability of data, and influence the results of our analysis.
How often are the values updated?
From the 2019/20 season onwards, we provide market values for five separate valuation dates each season: 1st September (end of summer transfer window), late autumn, 1st February (end of winter transfer window), late spring and 1st July (start of summer transfer window). Changes in league scheduling can slightly alter this timeline.
Where do the data come from?
Leading sports data company Huld/Wyscout provides the sports performance data for the KPMG Football Benchmark Player Valuation tool and regularly provides our Sports Advisory practice with the relevant sports data required to compute players´ market value estimates. Other non-sporting data are taken from publicly available sources.
What exchange rates are used?
Modelling calculations are prepared in EUR figures. Exchange rates for the day of the valuation date are applied to convert market values into GBP and USD.
Price vs. Value: Two different concepts
Economic theory teaches us that price is what a person pays for a given product or service, whilst value is what any given product or service is worth. Actual transfer fees in football are often distorted by several factors such as terms and conditions of the specific financial/sporting situation of the seller or the buyer at the time of a transaction, the willingness of a player to leave or join a club, league-specific rules and regulations, terms of release clauses, etc.
The figures published in the Football Benchmark Player Valuation Tool are estimated market values aiming to capture the worth of a player based on an analysis of several thousand past player transfers. Our consistent approach and methodology, together with an understanding of the difference between the concept of price and value, might explain the possible discrepancies between our value estimate conclusion and the specific price at which the transaction has taken place. These may differ from each other due to the aforementioned reasons.
LIMITING CONDITIONS AND ASSUMPTIONS
Acceptance and/or use of the KPMG Player Valuation Tool constitutes acceptance of the assumptions and limiting conditions included therein.
Scope of analysis — The pricing analysis of any asset or business is a matter of informed judgment. The KPMG Player Valuation algorithms have been developed on the basis of information and assumptions summarised on the basis of the preparation presented above and include certain limitations and exclusions. The amounts presented have in some cases been rounded off from the more detailed final calculations. The provided market value estimates do not take into account performance-based bonuses that could be part of a potential player transfer fee. The estimates are only comparable to fixed transfer fees.
Nature of opinion — Our players´ value indications should not be construed as an opinion as to the fairness of an actual or proposed transaction, or an investment recommendation. Instead, they are the expression of our estimation of their value based on a consistently-applied methodology. For various reasons, the price at which a player might be sold in a specific transaction between specific parties, on a specific date, may be significantly different from our value estimates. Potential investors always need to perform their own investigation and analysis, and are advised to seek their own professional legal, financial and taxation advice in such matters.
Value conclusions — While every effort has been made to be consistent in the methodology applied in order to arrive at our value conclusions, in certain instances we have applied professional judgment to player-specific factors that were not addressed by KPMG´s proprietary algorithms.
No verification of information provided — In developing our Player Valuation algorithms, we also rely upon publicly available data from recognised sources. We have not performed a detailed examination of this information nor tested its accuracy or reliability. KPMG International and KPMG member firms make no representations nor provide any guaranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of Player Valuation Tool findings. KPMG International and KPMG member firms, their managers, directors, partners and employees expressly disclaim any and all liability for errors and omissions from Player Valuation Tool results.
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