Understanding the impact of Covid-19 on football

On 10 June 2021 the RSS Reading local group held a talk given by James Reade, head of department and professor of economics at the University of Reading.

Covid-19 has had an obvious impact on professional sport, and football in particular – with competitions and events being postponed, cancelled, or taking place without fans in tightly controlled scenarios to avoid the spread of the virus. The extensive measurement of sport, alongside the abundance of Covid-19 related data on cases and mortality affords potentially greater insights into how a virus like Covid-19 can impact outcomes.

In this work, we looked at how the spread of the virus throughout 2020 and 2021 has impacted football outcomes using a highly detailed dataset on events within football matches all around Europe, and using information on the spread of Covid-19 in the local areas that football clubs are located in, and in the football clubs themselves.

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