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A Network Approach to the Transfer Market of European Football Leagues
New Physics: Sae Mulli 2015; 65: 402~409
Published online April 30, 2015;
© 2015 New Physics: Sae Mulli.

Sangmin LEE, Inho HONG, Woo-Sung JUNG*

Department of Physics, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 790-784, Korea
Correspondence to:
Received December 24, 2014; Revised March 25, 2015; Accepted March 30, 2015.
cc This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The transfer market for sport players presents an interesting issue both for the people who are directly involved with it and for the many fans. Although attempts have been made to understand it from a perspective of economy and management, an analysis from the view point of a complex system remains in the initial stages. In this research, we analyzed the transfer market of European football leagues as a weighted network in order to understand the detailed transfer patterns. A Google-based standard is used to quantify the value of the 436 transfers that occurred in the summer of 2014. The transfer patterns on a scale of both individual teams and whole leagues validate common sense intuitions about the capitalistic English Premier League. The log-normal distributions for players and teams imply that the network has evolved according to the Yule process. The properties of the network, such as assortativity, strength correlation, and betweenness centrality, provide several significant implications for topology. An assortativity coefficient close to zero represents a randomly-mixed transfer pattern on the league scale, which contradicts the intuitive assumption of disassortativity.
PACS numbers: 89.75.-k,, 02.50.-r
Keywords: Network, Complex system, Transfer, Football

January 2017, 67 (1)