AI can show Man United the money, says club’s data expert

Sunil Menon sees virtual football as a threat to the future of the physical game, but one which can be mitigated by using technology

EA FC’s virtual Marcus Rashford of Manchester United. The vast majority of organised sports as we know them today are less than 150 years old.

Sunil Menon imagines a future for football that he really doesn’t want to see. It’s one where the physical game has been wholly replaced by a digital reality. The stars are either entirely artificial intelligence (AI) creations or, at best, controlled by humans, as in e-sports today.

It’s a scenario he doesn’t see coming to pass for perhaps a century but one he, despite being a staunch advocate of modern technology, wants to prevent.

Menon ...