Mono v Multi-lingual Premiership football managers – who comes out on top?
Update: I wrote this 3 years ago – if you look at the Premiership today (13 November 2016) it is clear – you HAVE to be multilingual to be a succssful manager. The highest ranking club is managed by a monolingual is Burnely, managed by Sean Dyche…currently 9th in the league. All above them are managed by multi-linguals.
In today’s top flight football, teams are typically made up of players from many different countries. For that reason it is assumed that football managers that can communicate with their squads in more than one language have an advantage. The extent of that advantage, however, has never been measured.
Andrew Finan, owner of KLOO, a language games company, loves football and languages and he decided to dig deeper and see if there was any correlation between multilingualism and team performance. The outcome was startling.
KLOO compared the performance of UK Premiership teams with multi-lingual managers (with a command of at least 2 languages), with teams managed by monolinguals. KLOO only looked at teams where the manager had stewardship for at least 30 premiership games so that he had the chance to impact their success in terms of league points.
The outcomes are quite astonishing in the way they predict team performance.
Football teams managed by multi-linguals managers
(No of languages of manager in brackets)
Man City (2)
All of the above teams are in the top half of the table with some vying for the title and others vying for European Places.
Football Teams managed by monolinguals
Aston Villa (1),
Manchester United (1),
Newcastle United (1),
Norwich City (1),
West Ham United (1),
Hull City (1)
All except two teams (Newcastle and Manchester United) are in the lower half of the table. Newcastle and Manchester United are commonly accepted to be under performing. No teams from the mono-lingual group are threatening to win the title or win a place in Europe.
Managing is the ability to motivate, gel a team together and communicate ideas. The research suggests that language ability is a key component to on the field success. When the board of directors of a football club are looking to recruit a new manager (Norwich are looking for a new manager after sacking monolingual Chris Hughton today), they may want to check his cv for evidence of language capability.
What do you think? Put your comments below. We would love to hear from you.
Turning language into a game…Learn a language through playing
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How good is that? Our customers say its great – amazing even! Take a look at our Reviews on Amazon.
Then why not buy a game – have some fun – and start learning a language. You can even get voucher codes from the KLOO website which are valid today