So you have just bought a footbal club and the fans are on your back and you desparately need success. What do you do?
Well you need a good manager for sure and that manager will no doubt ask you to pay top dollar to get the best players. But the manager will almost certainly ask you to employ a team of sports scientists including...wait for it...a mathematician.
Surely not? Well if not a profesisonal mathematician, certainly a student of the subject. Because football is about space, angles, data. Mathematics is about space, angles, data...
David Sumpter's Oxford Mathematics Public Lecture 'Soccermatics: could a Premier League team be one day managed by a mathematician', makes the connection explicit, as well as revealing which teams and players already ahead of the game, both as footballers and mathematicians.