The charismatic manager motivating his team to triumph is a story that media and fans love. Such stories are being recycled now as a glittering array of managers headlines the new English season: José Mourinho at Manchester United, his old rival Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, Antonio Conte at Chelsea, Arsène Wenger at Arsenal, and Mr Klopp at Liverpool.
However, the power of managers has long been overrated. Today, despite their outsized image, they matter less than ever.
The best predictor of a club’s success is not who picks the team but the squad’s total wage bill. High wages attract good players. The higher the wage bill, the better the team typically performs. Averaged over 10 seasons, correlation between wage bill and final league position is about 90 per cent, says Stefan Szymanski, an economist at the University of Michigan
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