After a year working in football full time player valuation is one area that remains somewhat of a mystery.

Football ability is granular, yes you get generational talents, but most of the time you are comparing players of roughly the same ability.

A company like ours exists to find the £500k player who, under the right circumstances, could give you the same output as the £5m player.

At the top end the stakes are even higher. With £100k a week wage packets a “wrong” £25m transfer is a £50m millstone around the neck over the next 5 years.

And for investors looking to buy clubs how do they actually value the current playing assets?

Quite often we see data from TransferMarkt used in client pitches, everyone laughs and jokes about it but the fact is there really aren’t any other systems that even attempt valuation, in the public domain at least.

Another source, and one we’ve publicly referenced before, is Football Manager. It is actually quite a decent source of information on contract lengths, wages, and valuations. Often not that far off from reality at all and if you wanted to guess the wages of a player in an obscure league it at least gives you a ballpark.

There are several factors that impact on a transfer fee.

Probably the most important is the current wage of the player. If a player is currently earning a lower wage than he is valued at by the buying club, is on a long contract, and at a club who don’t want to sell the fee is going to be BIG.

If the player is on a wage well above market value it is very difficult to shift them. Fees are going to be low or non-existent. These players often are sent off on loan with a percentage of their wage being covered and perhaps a small fee paid.

What I wanted to do was see if the “wisdom of the crowd” gave a better valuation than TransferMarkt or Football Manager.

Would the average fan (albeit with the excellent taste to follow MRKT Insights people on twitter) have a good understanding of player value?

The request was send out and 12 hours later we had 1007 completed valuation forms for Everton’s squad.

NameCrowdsourceTM ValueFM ValueFee Paid
Jordan Pickford2525.22430
Jon-Joe Kenny11.58.5515.90
Seamus Coleman78.55210.06
Lucas Digne3625.23017
Michael Keane21182024
Yerry Mina21182327
Mason Holgate3216.2191.5
Tom Davies1114.4150
Andre Gomes2220.253123
Fabian Delph4.592411
Jean-Philllipe Gbamin1720.252424
Alex Iwobi1822.953027
Gylfi Sigurdsson1316.22645
Theo Walcott710.81923
Yannick Bolasie43.61627
Moise Kean2622.51527
Cenk Tosun910.81527
Dominic Calvert-Lewin4021.6211.5

I’ve applied a weighted average to Crowdsourced responses to get the single figure value. Personally I’d have Iwobi higher and Gomes lower but they are certainly more accurate than the other sources.

The slightly concerning thing from an Everton point of view is how fewer of the players who transferred to the club have increased in value. Two youth signings from the lower leagues in Calvert-Lewin and Holgate, and a certain 60k Irishman have generated huge profits. Of the big money era signings only Digne and Richarlison (hugely) have gone up in value.

An interesting exercise all round, thanks to everyone who took part.


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