This book provides a systematic overview of football development from a scientific perspective.
The proposed multidimensional framework of assessing the concept of sports development (with a deliberate emphasis on association football) goes beyond the conventional medal tally counts and win percentages.
The conceptual foundation of the Football Development Index (FDI) revolves around the understanding that football development grasps all athletic proficiency levels from grassroots to elite, and includes all football stakeholders.
The proposed composite indicator of football development highlights three key dimensions: on-pitch performance, popularity, and development environment.
The book provides both a conceptual discussion on football development as well as an overview of the various techniques used for constructing composite indicators.
The practical implications of a multidimensional index on football development cover a vast array of fundamental sports economics and management issues such as performance measurement and management, fairness of funding allocation, sports development policy, stakeholder relations, and many others. While providing concrete guidelines and recommendations, this book also raises some fundamental issues, such as whether socio-economic determinants can affect a nation's sporting performance.
Results turn out to be inconclusive, but going further with this notion, the correlations between socio-economic development levels and football development seem to produce more insightful findings, which shed light on more questions than the book has the ability to answer. The findings of this research may be adopted by FIFA and continental and national federations to objectify decision-making regarding development programs and activities.
This book embodies a systematic assessment approach, which can be adapted to fit the needs of any football governing body and which provides an opportunity to benchmark the best global football development practices.
The research also contributes to the theoretic development of performance measurement systems in sports and to the widely discussed issue of direct and indirect determinants of football development.