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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2018

Mohamed F.A. Ebrahim, N. David Pifer, Saad Ahmed Saad Shalaby, Karim Mohamed Mahmoud El Hakim, Hosam El Dien El Sayed Mubarak and James J. Zhang

The Egyptian Premier League (EPL) holds a prominent place in Egypt’s sporting culture and serves as the stage for some of Africa’s most competitive soccer clubs. However…

Abstract

Purpose

The Egyptian Premier League (EPL) holds a prominent place in Egypt’s sporting culture and serves as the stage for some of Africa’s most competitive soccer clubs. However, the actual competitive balance in this league has come under scrutiny in recent years as the two historically dominant Cairo clubs, Ahly and Zamalek, continue to retain the EPL championship. A major concern is that the competitive imbalance of the EPL may actually be hampering the league’s progress and the progress of soccer in Egypt. In order to more closely assess this situation, the purpose of this paper is to use historical EPL performance data to conduct a series of competitive balance analyses on league results from 1948 to 2014. The findings revealed that competition in the league is almost nonexistent as Ahly and Zamalek continue to enjoy a number of direct and indirect financial benefits that are unrealized by their competitors. The dominance of these clubs has compromised the elements of match uncertainty and drama that are traditionally viewed as being important to the prestige and financial achievements of leagues and teams. Discussion is therefore offered for how the EPL could go about resolving some of its organizational and competitive balance issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted four basic measures of competitive balance to conduct descriptive analyses on EPL data that were collected from egyptianfootball.net and the Rec Sport Soccer Statistics Foundation. These analyses began with the EPL’s inaugural season (1948-1949) and extended to the conclusion of the 2014-2015 season. During this timeframe, seven seasons were canceled due to global and political tensions and four more went unfinished. Because these seasons were excluded, the total sample size consisted of 56 seasons, each of which contained between 10 and 24 EPL teams. The data were analyzed using variations of the following competitive balance measures: the range and standard deviation of winning percentages, the ratio of the standard deviation/Noll-Scully approach, the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index, and five-club concentration ratio.

Findings

The results confirmed that the league is largely imbalanced, leading the authors to recommend systemic and structural changes that could help promote competitive balance in the league. The call for competitive balance in the EPL was bolstered by a literature review of studies that advocated for parity in professional sports leagues. In the end, the researchers recommend the EPL to improve its organizational policies and consider a revised revenue-sharing system that would allow the small-market teams to survive and thrive.

Originality/value

The EPL holds a prominent place in Egypt’s sporting culture and serves as the stage for some of Africa’s most competitive soccer clubs. The primary purpose of this study was to perform a series of competitive balance analyses on EPL results from 1948 to 2015 in an effort to better understand the various degrees of competitiveness in the league during this time.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 April 2017

Mahmoud Al-Ayyoub, Ahmed Alwajeeh and Ismail Hmeidi

The authorship authentication (AA) problem is concerned with correctly attributing a text document to its corresponding author. Historically, this problem has been the…

Abstract

Purpose

The authorship authentication (AA) problem is concerned with correctly attributing a text document to its corresponding author. Historically, this problem has been the focus of various studies focusing on the intuitive idea that each author has a unique style that can be captured using stylometric features (SF). Another approach to this problem, known as the bag-of-words (BOW) approach, uses keywords occurrences/frequencies in each document to identify its author. Unlike the first one, this approach is more language-independent. This paper aims to study and compare both approaches focusing on the Arabic language which is still largely understudied despite its importance.

Design/methodology/approach

Being a supervised learning problem, the authors start by collecting a very large data set of Arabic documents to be used for training and testing purposes. For the SF approach, they compute hundreds of SF, whereas, for the BOW approach, the popular term frequency-inverse document frequency technique is used. Both approaches are compared under various settings.

Findings

The results show that the SF approach, which is much cheaper to train, can generate more accurate results under most settings.

Practical implications

Numerous advantages of efficiently solving the AA problem are obtained in different fields of academia as well as the industry including literature, security, forensics, electronic markets and trading, etc. Another practical implication of this work is the public release of its sources. Specifically, some of the SF can be very useful for other problems such as sentiment analysis.

Originality/value

This is the first study of its kind to compare the SF and BOW approaches for authorship analysis of Arabic articles. Moreover, many of the computed SF are novel, while other features are inspired by the literature. As SF are language-dependent and most existing papers focus on English, extra effort must be invested to adapt such features to Arabic text.

Details

International Journal of Web Information Systems, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-0084

Keywords

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