By Phil Jennings
VILLA co-owner Wes Edens has hinted that new signings will be based on systems currently being used in NBA basketball in the USA.
Edens – who also has Milwaukee Bucks in his stable as well as Villa – says ‘great information’ is better than ‘great judgement’.
And he says he has been in contact with other American owners – Stan Kroenke at Arsenal and Liverpool’s John Henry to get a feel for the market.
But he says ‘soccer has a long way to go’ when it comes to player analysis.
If all goes well on Monday, Villa will soon be back in the Premier League – and Edens wants to be prepared.
Edens took over at Villa last summer with business associate Nassef Sawiris – the duo have since pumped £68million into the club.
And Edens told Interview.net: “You know I always tell people in our businesses great judgment, overrated, great information, underrated.
“Because truly if you have great information most of the decisions are pretty darn simple. So I feel in soccer they’ve got a long way to go in terms of analytics data.
“And so I feel like there’s a lot to be caught up to honestly and I believe, in the end, when you look there’s a number of NBA owners and US sports owners that have done tremendously well in football.
“You have Stan Kroenke at Arsenal, John Henry at Liverpool. Obviously they’ve got tremendous teams though and I’ve talked to both of them and others about their experiences. And I think that there are a lot more similarities than differences but there are some big differences for sure.”
Edens is not about to replace Villa’s scouting network with computers – and knows an experienced eye counts for a lot.
He added: “It’s not merely the data, but I do think the foundation of it should be data driven and I think that that’s where we talk about underdogs and whatnot.
“It’s just that I have this very high motor to try to see things for what they are and that’s what the data allows you to do if you just apply it properly.
“But then you need good judgement at the end of course. But you know if it’s balanced by this underpinning of data and information you’re just likely to make much better decisions.”