American baseball legend Billy Beane is to advise Alkmaar football club AZ on new strategy and innovation, the club confirmed on Wednesday.
As scout and manager for the Oakland Athletics MIB baseball team, Beane has been able to develop top teams on limited resources. His ‘Moneyball’ approach – basing a team on individual statistical analysis – is now used the world over.
‘AZ has a rich history and a stuffed trophy cabinet but I see a lot of parallels with the challenges we’ve tackled at Oakland Athletics,’ Beane, who will remain at the helm in Oakland, said in a statement. ‘I love football so I consider this a good move.’
AZ’s general director Robert Eenhoorn knew Beane personally from his days with the Dutch baseball team.
‘When we approached him, he was enthusiastic about AZ,’ Eenhoorn said. ‘He has shown like no-one else that you can close the gap on top clubs by being innovative. He is going to advise us from America, but will also visit Alkmaar.’
AZ is currently fourth in the Eredivisie and 23 points behind leader PSV.
Billy Beane was played by Brad Pitt in the film Moneyball.
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