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The Actim Index is the official player ratings system of The Premier League, The Championship, and Scottish Premier League. It is compiled and distributed by PA Sport, a subsidiary of the Press Association. In 2010, it was renamed as the EA Sports Player Performance Index.
The EA Index ranks players on a weekly basis, according to their performances on the pitch, both by position and in an overall chart, throughout the season. The EA Index rankings are based on a player's aggregate score for all matches played. Each player's contribution to matches is calculated using a mathematical formula developed by PA Sport, alongside statisticians from Salford University. Contributions which are examined include goals, shots, passes, dribbles, tackles, crosses, saves, clearances, blocks, interceptions, time on the pitch and number of points gained by their team. The formula has not been made public, and the lack of public scrutiny had rendered the index largely irrelevant.
Strikers tend to do well on the index, as in the 2007–08 season; the highest rated performers were Cristiano Ronaldo, Emmanuel Adebayor, Fernando Torres, Roque Santa Cruz, and Carlos Tevez. Gareth Barry and Cesc Fàbregas are the highest rated non-forwards; there are four defenders in the top 20. The basis of the index is that players are awarded points for contributions that influence the match outcome; the greater the influence of a contribution, the greater the points awarded for that contribution. It is perhaps not surprising therefore that strikers have a tendency to lead the index.
Two additional calculations were added for the 2006–07 season, which take into account player assists, clean sheets for defenders and goalkeepers. This has increased the amount of variables by which a player is now measured.
The data is collected by a representative from the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA), usually an ex-player, at every Premiership and Championship league match. Video footage is then used to verify the information, before the Index is generated and published.
The list of the Top 100 players and Top 5 players by position is updated during the football season every Tuesday, for the Barclays Premiership and every Thursday, for the Coca-Cola Championship, and is available on the FAPL website. PA Sport also distributes weekly media advisories, which contain updates on the latest player rankings. The Premiership and Championship Index Alerts are published every week, following the announcement of the Index for each league.
The six calculations which generate the Index are:
- Calculation 1 – Assesses a player's contribution to a winning team, based on the points won by the team when he has appeared.
- Calculation 2 – Assesses a player's performance in each game by allocating points for actions that positively contribute to a winning performance, such as shots, tackles, clearances and saves. It also takes points away from players for negative actions such as yellow/red cards, and shots off target.
- Calculation 3 – Allocates points based on time on the pitch.
- Calculation 4 – Allocates points for goal scorers.
- Calculation 5 – Allocates points for assists.
- Calculation 6 – Allocates points for clean sheets.