St Johnstone players ‘among the most loyal in European football’

St Johnstone take on Stenhousemuir. Players at the Perth club are among the most loyal in Europe, a survey found. Picture: Alan Murray
St Johnstone take on Stenhousemuir. Players at the Perth club are among the most loyal in Europe, a survey found. Picture: Alan Murray
0
Have your say

They have become known as a model of stability in Scottish football in recent years, combining top six finishes with fiscal rectitude.

Now St Johnstone have been found to have among the most loyal players in Europe, with first team regulars remaining at McDiarmid Park for just under four years on average.

The Perth club topped the league for player loyalty in Scotland and is among the top 10 across the continent, according to a survey of figures compiled by the Football Observatory.

The results revealed that Scotland’s Premier League ranked ninth in Europe for players having stuck at their club longest. Scottish players tended to play for their team for an average of 1.98 years, according to the study by Ticketgum.

A breakdown of the Scottish Premiership has revealed that the team with the most loyal squad was the Perth-based club, where players remained for an average of 3.96 years.

On the other end of the scale, players only stuck with Motherwell for 0.9 years.

St Johnstone, under the management of Northern Irishman Tommy Wright, have enjoyed one of the best spells in the club’s history in recent years.

They won the Scottish Cup - the club’s first major trophy - in 2014 and have qualified for the Europa League on several occasions.

READ MORE: Where do most Scots work in 2017?

Ticketgum mapped the average number of years a footballer spends in the employer club’s first team squad, as of the current league season.

According to the Football Observatory, a respected statistics website, this offers an indication of a team’s stability.

It found player loyalty gives clubs a competitive advantage “on a sporting level or an economic one”, defined as a greater capacity to launch careers of club-trained players and generating revenues through their transfer.

The English Premier League was placed among the most stable leagues in Europe, with newly signed players representing 33.3 per cent of the league.

This is compared to the Scottish Premiership where 42.5 per cent of players have been newly signed over the course of the year.