Brentford FC pays big for betting-conscious owner in Premier League promotion fixture against Swansea –

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Brentford FC pays big for betting-conscious owner in Premier League promotion fixture against Swansea – fr


On Saturday, Brentford FC beat Swansea in the most valuable football game of the year. The winner went to the loot – promotion to the Premier League and around $ 330 million in guaranteed money.
For decades, businessmen have bought lower-level English football teams at low prices, hoping to climb the ranks to win the jackpot of playing in the Premier League. But it’s not often that the person behind a team about to do so is actually a player.

In 2012, Brentford – a team that had spent most of their lives deep in England’s third and fourth levels – were in financial trouble when a mysterious investor pumped around $ 700,000 into the coffers.

It turned out to be Matthew Benham.

Benham founded two sports betting companies: a betting exchange called Matchbook and another company called Smartodds, a statistics-based concierge that gives players an edge on the rich database.

The idea for Benham: to buy the Brentford Bees, a team he loved since childhood, and use analysis and non-traditional thinking to bring them to the top.

He’s gotten closer before. Last year the team lost that match against Fulham. Even though they have lost all nine EPL play-in games they have appeared in since 1990, they were favored to advance on Saturday and cash.

Benham doesn’t talk much about his strategy. In fact, he hardly ever does interviews.

In a rare interview with a publication called At The Match, Benham said that bad biases start in recruiting.

“If I want to know how good a player is, I want to talk to the person who has seen that player play 100 times in all conditions,” said Benham. “What tends to happen is a lot of people in football will see this player for 40 minutes and decide they are the oracle. “

He also argues that statistics that are given more importance are often meaningless, including the time spent on a team’s record.

“One of the best examples is mid-season in Germany, Dortmund was at the bottom of the league,” Benham told SI in 2015. “In fact, we’ve always made them Germany’s second best team. They were horribly unlucky.

In order to assess in a non-traditional style, Benham – who has his physics degree from Oxford – also hired non-traditional people. There are two directors of football operations.

One is Rasmus Ankersen, a former football player turned high performance expert. His books include “A Winner’s DNA” and “The Gold Mine Effect”. The other is Phil Giles, a man who has his PhD in statistics and was the head of quantitative research for Smartodds, Benham’s game data company.

What Benham’s front office teams are trying to do is rid the statistics of noise.

“I want to look at the number and quality of the chances they’ve created. If I look at a striker, I absolutely don’t care about his scoring record, ”said Benham. “For me the only thing that’s interesting is the way the team (s) do collectively, offensively and defensively in the context of an individual’s performance.

Their moves have borne fruit. Not only have they reached the top of the second tier of English football after working hard in the third and fourth tiers for centuries, but they’ve also sold their “Moneyball” wins for huge bucks.

In recent years they’ve sold three different players, whom they brought in for a total of under $ 10million and sold them for a combined transfer fee of $ 100million – Neal Maupay (Brighton & Hove Albion) , Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa) and Said Benrahma (West Ham).

Matthew Benham would never have made a real bet on the team he owns, but a victory on Saturday was a manifestation of his true ringing philosophy and a large sum of money.

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