Sunday, 26 June 2016

Euro Expansion - And Contraction

Since the Euros expanded to 16 teams in 1996, now up to 24 of course, the 38 knock-out stage games have gone Under 2.5 goals 26 times (implied odds 1.46). Fewer goals means more draws, and 18 matches have ended even (2.11) with eleven have been 'perfect draws' at 0:0 (3.45) and seven have finished 1:1 (5.43). 21 matches (1.81) have been 0:0 at half-time.

Being aware of such statistics certainly eased the pain of watching the Wales v Northern Ireland and Portugal v Croatia games yesterday. I know 0:0 draws are not everyone's cup of tea, but I rather like them. I can tell you that with a little money on one or more of the above outcomes, your whole perspective on the game changes.
The table above includes the 23 all Euro match-ups in World Cup knock-out games over the same time-frame. Arguably perhaps I should have only included match-ups on European soil, so I have broken those out in case anyone is interested.

** A couple of comments on my previous post have been removed at the commenter's request, and this is an updated post. We all say things that we sometimes regret, and many people vote one way and instantly regret it afterwards, which brings me to the EU Brexit referendum result.

I can't say I am delighted at the result. Quite the opposite in fact. I think it's a disaster for the United Kingdom, although there might not be much of that left after Scotland depart (and who can blame them) and the case for a united Ireland becomes more of an issue once again. Referenda are terrible ideas, and this is what happens when you let average people vote. As Sir Winston Chuchill said:
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
The average voter (embarrassingly including my old parents) apparently believed the lies of the Leave campaign, the £350 million a week to the NHS (oh, that was a mistake we heard the day after the vote), the reduction of immigration into the tens of thousands (oh, we never said that) and so it goes on. Add in the large numbers of people calling the electoral commission to change their "protest" votes because "I didn't think we'd really be leaving" and you can see why giving people votes that actually count, is not a good idea.
Oops - Mistake. Sorry About That
Still, the last time nationalism was on the rise in Europe back in the 1930s, and austerity policies were in place, everything turned out OK - didn't it? An increase in overt racism has already been reported in the UK.

Fortunately, the referendum isn't legally binding, so write to your MP and tell them we want another one! There's a precedent - the Irish referendum to ratify the Lisbon treaty failed in 2008, but passed with a big majority the following year. And yes, I'm aware that Cameron (who could well go down in history as the man who destroyed not only the EU but also the UK - what a legacy!) said there would not be a second referendum, but he's lied before (quite often in fact) and this is far too consequential an issue to be decided by people who don't have many years to live with the consequences. Votes should be weighted for age - if old people are allowed to vote at all. If under 18s can't vote, I think there's a good case for not allowing over 70s to vote either. And not to say I told you so, but, well, I did warn against Cameron more than six years ago. Does no one read this blog? It sometimes feels like the Daily Mail has more readers!

No comments: