Mr Moneyball Billy Beane is joining a Dutch football team
Fire up those laptops
The era of the sporting crossover is alive and well and it seems that it has one more convert. SportsJOE is old enough to remember Michael Jordan's ill-fated attempt at moving from basketball to baseball and now it seems that a Dutch football side are hoping what worked in the Major League can also work in football.
Liverpool fans will be well versed in the club's use of the so called 'sabermetrics' in signing new players.
The phrase and method came to fame in the Michael Lewis book Moneyball which was based on the exploits of Billy Beane and his Oakland Athletics side in the early part of the last decade.
The ensuing film starring Brad Pitt was a big success and it seemed that everyone was going to hop on board the new way of looking at sport.
Well that was until Damien Comolli signed a rake of utter rubbish for Liverpool using the so called 'Moneyball' analytics and the system took a major hit. But now it appears that Dutch football side AZ Alkmaar have a new belief and not only are they using the system,they're signing the man who bloody invented it.
The club are believed to have approached Beane to come on board in an advisory capacity and according to the club's website he'll be helping them in areas such as 'high performance and innovation'
In a statement on their website the club's director of soccer Earnest Stewart revealed the background to the move
'We’ve had a lot of contact with Billy In the last few months. His knowledge and ideas are impressive. Also Billy’s soccer network is excellent. We have already noticed that Billy thinks two steps ahead in the area of innovation. That’s what really connects with the ambitions of AZ.”
The American himself is also quoted on the AZ website explaining the appeal of the move to the Netherlands
'I am truly excited for the opportunity to be part of AZ Alkmaar in an advisory role. Despite being a great football club with a storied history, they face many of the challenges we have with the Oakland A’s. My love for football and AZ’s vision of the future of the club made this an attractive pursuit.'
If they decide to remake the film for a Dutch audience we think Steve McClaren is a shoo in for at least a cameo.