If we take work done by Eliakim et al in 2020 , the average EPL club loses 1 league position per 271 days lost through injury.
In financial terms, the average EPL club loses £45 million pounds in injury-related costs per season – this is combined salaries and prize money. It’s important to stress that this data is taken from the 2012/13 season through to the 2017/18 season. The reality is this figure will now be significantly higher as salaries and prize money have increased annually since then.
There is solid data linking the impact of injures on team performance. If we take football as a starting example, an 11 year study following 24 elite European teams from nine different leagues clearly linked higher injury rates with decreased performance .
Financially this impacted the clubs in two distinct ways…
- Reduced performance led to lower prize money (approximately £2m per place in the Premier League), plus missed TV revenue and prize money from additional competitions.
- Lower positions in the European 10 year coefficient rankings (each coefficient place is worth around £1m in the Champions League). A club has their coefficient ranking multiplied by 32 in reverse order, so #1 rank will receive 32 x €1.12m, and 32 rank will receive 1 x €1.12m during their Champions League participation.
With a share of a €2.8 Billion prize pot up for grabs in European competitions , there’s more than just pride on the line when it comes to finishing as high up the EPL table as possible.
Although the sums of money are different, data on elite level Rugby shows a similar impact on injury levels and performance . Clubs are liable to lose out on tens of thousands of pounds based on league position and cup success.
The same applies to cricket , where injuries are shown to impact team performance significantly. With prize money in first class cricket dropping from over £580,000 for the winners to £27,000 for 5th place , it’s a dramatic drop so the importance of finishing high up the table is even greater than in other sports.