The man who innovated baseball with the Moneyball concept Billy Beane is part of a Chinese consortium set to take over Barnsley for £20m according to a report from The Times.
For months, a consortium led by Chinese billionaire Chien Lee and American businessman Paul Conway have been in discussions with current Barnsley owner Patrick Cryne as they look to thrash out a deal to buy the club. Cryne has terminal cancer and wrote in the match day programme earlier in the week that he doesn’t expect to see the end of the season.
As part of that deal, the man who changed baseball and the sporting world forever with his innovative recruitment strategy Billy Beane will own 10% of the club. While the general manager of baseball franchise the Oakland As, the equivalent to a Director of Football, Beane came up with a new strategy which focused on signing and trading for players with impressive but less fashionable stats such as on-base and slugging percentage rather than the amount of home runs and batting average favoured for many decades. This strategy led Oakland to the play-offs on multiple occasions despite having meagre resources compared to the rest of the MLB.
This strategy would become popularised by the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game which was later turned into a film starring Brad Pitt. It would be adopted by many other baseball teams such as the Boston Red Sox and even football teams have started to learn from it with Liverpool and Brentford said to favour statistical approaches to finding new players.
Now Beane could soon make an impact on football. He won’t have a massive say considering he would only own 10% of Barnsley but the club may look to adopt the Moneyball approach like many others following the takeover.