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Claudio Ranieri has been sacked by Leicester City. Picture credit: Leicester Mercury

A furore surrounds the sacking of Leicester City's title-winning manager, Claudio Ranieri. Picture: Leicester Mercury

Ranieri was not to blame: ‘Regression fallacy’ explains the downward trajectory of Leicester City

Claudio Ranieri’s shock sacking from Leicester City Football Club just nine months after achieving the seemingly impossible has been analysed and explained by Loughborough University management scientist Professor Gilberto Montibeller.

Claudio Ranieri has been sacked by Leicester City. Picture credit: Leicester Mercury

Picture: Leicester Mercury

Prof Montibeller, of the School of Business and Economics, has examined Leicester City’s decision to axe the 65-year-old Italian manager following a poor run of results in the Premier League – and said the title winning chief is not to blame.

Writing in his blog, the academic explains that Ranieri fell afoul of a concept from behavioural decision research known as ‘regression fallacy’.

Regression fallacy is the idea that the performance of a system, in this case the football club, tends to move towards its average after an exceptional performance.

Prof Montibeller wrote: “The regression fallacy, which affected supporters and the media, attributed the main cause of LCFC’s success to Ranieri.

“While not being a football expert, given these data, I believe that winning the Premiership was due to a number of different factors instead: players that were outperforming that year, team spirit, a good coach and, indeed, luck!"

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Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 17/28

Loughborough University is equipped with a live in-house broadcast unit via the Globelynx network. To arrange an interview with one of our experts please contact the press office on 01509 223491. Bookings can be made online via
Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named the best in the country for its student experience in the 2016 THE Student Experience Survey. Loughborough was ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2017 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2017 and was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017, and University of the Year in the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015.
Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In September 2015 the University opened an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.



Peter Warzynski

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