Over the last few years the coverage of Scottish football has significantly expanded through the use of social media. While traditional media such as newspapers and broadcasters have diversified their content on to online platforms, there has also been an explosion of ‘amateur’ and fan-created coverage in terms of websites and podcasts, dealing with all aspects of the game in Scotland.
One such burgeoning community is that of tactical and statistical analysis. Viewed with both enthusiasm and scepticism within the game, they are seen as part of a ‘modernisation’ in how football is viewed, analysed and covered in the media, even if their key principles and elements are as old as football itself. While in many ways statistical and tactical analyses are very separate fields, they also share a lot of traits and are increasingly learning from each other.
Both fields are still a minority pursuit in terms of the wider coverage of football globally – covering a smaller league such as the SPFL makes it an even narrower field. But that is also one of its benefits; with such a small community it was easy for different stat and tactical analysts to make connections and start co-operating on work, sharing ideas and giving constructive criticism.
Modern Fitba is the natural continuation of this; eight analysts who came to know each other through conducting their own work in statistical analytics and tactical analysis, aware that there wasn’t a single dedicated website that covered both these fields for Scottish football.
Our driving purpose is to combine all that knowledge and enthusiasm for Scottish football into one site, where we want to provide the most thorough and engaging analysis available, all for free.
There is an ever growing interest in football statistics and tactical analysis and we want the site to be for fans of all backgrounds that have an interest in Scottish Football and want to read in depth analysis behind the statistics and tactics. The name ‘Modern Fitba’ is a wry acknowledgement and nod to how many perceive them; something robotic and out of touch with the emotional essence of football. We don’t share those sentiments and we want to show you how these fields are more about quantifying and defining ideas and views that most football fans already instinctively know and argue about.
While we won’t dumb things down and make short-cuts in our methodology to fit with some perceived level of knowledge among the ‘normal football fan’, we will try to write as engaging as possible, making topics that can sometimes be seen as quite academic and complex simpler to grasp and interesting to read.
Another important point is that for the 2018/19 season Modern Fitba’s statistical data will be from leading industry providers Stratagem Technologies and InStat, giving us the opportunity to analyse the SPFL to an extent and in such detail that have never been seen publicly in Scotland. Uniquely this also means that for the first time the majority of analysts writing about advanced stats in Scottish football will be working with a common data source, ensuring a consistency that we’ve never previously seen. This will hopefully make it easier to have advanced stats accepted as a valid part of the mainstream debate around football in Scotland
We want Modern Fitba to be an addition to the coverage of Scottish football, not for it to replace anything. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea and we would never advocate that all media coverage should be filled with stats and tactical analysis. Instead we want to fill a gap in the Scottish market for the supporters who want to know more about the numbers and the concepts behind what’s happening on the field.
Numbers and analysis shouldn’t be a conversation stopper, the ‘perceived’ facts to determine the correct side of an argument. Instead it should be a conversation starter, sparking debate and further discussions, highlighting sides to the game you might not have considered, suggesting an alternative to a perceived wisdom or helping to support long-held notions.
We all appreciate and consume football in different ways at different times.
We hope you’ll enjoy this way, however modern it may be.