Issue number 355 of the Weekly Post ranks big-5 league clubs according to the CIES Football Observatory’s Sustainable Squad Management (SSM) Index. The latter highlights teams built to last by combining players’ age (the younger, the better), average stay in the first team squad (the longer, the better) and contract duration (the longer, the better). The employment rate of each is also considered as a weighting factor (more minutes, greater importance).
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Raffaele Poli
Roger Besson
Loïc Ravenel
Thomas Gonzalez

Manchester City, Real Sociedad and Liverpool currently hold the most sustainable squads. Guardiola’s team fields slightly younger line-ups than big-5 league rivals (27.06 years vs 27.13). Moreover, players fielded have been for much longer in the first team squad (3.32 years vs 2.34) and have much longer contracts (3.32 years vs 2.30). The Basques field much younger line-ups (25.62 years) and their values in terms of stability (3.04 years) and contract duration (2.49 years) also are above the average.

Spezia Calcio fielded so far the youngest line-ups (24.61 years), while the longest average stay for players fielded was recorded for Burnley (4.07 years). The longest “on the pitch” average contract remaining duration was measured for Arsenal (3.69 years). The Gunners also field by far the youngest line-ups in the English Premier League (24.86 years). However, their stability is for now well below the big- 5 league average (1.75 years only). More information on the SSM Index is available here.

Sustainable Squad Management (SSM) Index, big-5 league clubs

Date: 01/11/2021. Age, stay and remaining contract durations of squad members (years), weighted by domestic league minutes (season 2021/22).