How can we effectively compare the strength of different European Leagues? Which country has a stronger top flight, England or Spain? Which country has a more balanced top flight, Italy or Germany? How does the imbalance and strength of the EPL change across the different divisions? These questions are not easily answered, and do not even necessarily have definitive answers. With the help of data from Euro Club Index and Infostrada Live (powered by HyperCube) we can begin to make some analysis of Europe's top leagues.
The idea for this post originally came from another blog post written by Chris Anderson (@soccerquant), the writer of the Soccer By the Numbers blog. In this post, Chris compares both the strength and imbalance of 6 of the top European leagues. You can read the post here. My idea was to expand upon this analysis using the extensive and accurate Euro Club Index data, while also looking at more European leagues. This analysis looks at the top leagues of 10 different European countries. The analysis will be split in to two posts. The first looks at only the top division of 10 different countries. The second, which will be posted later, will compare strength and imbalance within each country's league structure.