THE new season is upon us.

The 2019/20 Scottish Premiership officially gets under way on Saturday afternoon and the campaign promises to be filled with all the usual drama, intrigue and general unpredictability.

This season, we're launching our Manager Power Rankings in an attempt to see how each Scottish top-flight coach is getting on, relative to each other.

After each round of fixtures, managers will be awarded or docked points based on their team's results. Crucially, each manager's scores are not calculated purely on whether their side won, drew or lost, but on whether or not they were expected to win. Otherwise, the power rankings would simply reflect the league table - something that isn't always the best barometer of a manger's efforts.

Take the example of Steve Clarke, for instance. Last season, he dragged Kilmarnock to a third-place finish and was voted Manager of the Year - an award which most punters agreed with - because he exceeded expectations and overperformed during his time in the Rugby Park dugout.


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Our Manager Power Rankings are a way of adressing this. By creating a system where coaches are penalised for dropping points in matches they should really be winning and rewarding them for picking up unexpected results, we think we have an algorithm that fairly rewards coaches for their efforts.

Managers of clubs like Celtic and Rangers are expected to win just about every match, and rightly so. They have the better players and the bigger budgets. But just because they chalk up more wins than other teams, they aren't necessarily doing the best job, as Clarke proved last season.

Our algorithm works like this. Before each round of fixtures, we examine the bookies' odds to see which teams are expected to win. Then, once the result has been determined, we award or dock points. If a club is expected to win and they do, their manager will be rewarded with a point. If they draw, they'll lose one and if they lose they'll lose three.

Conversely, if a team are expected to lose and they record a win, their coach will be awarded three points. A point will be given for a draw, while a loss will result in a one point penalty.

Any manager with a positive score can be said to be enjoying a decent season, while coaches on a negative figure are probably underperforming.

To give you an idea of how this works in practice, we've ran last season's results through our system which produced the following results. You can hover over each manager's icon to chart their progress over the course of the season, or click a specific week to see the standings at that point in time.

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Eagle-eyed readers might spot a problem here. Namely, that managers of smaller clubs (that are often expected to lose) are benefitting more than they perhaps ought to. Brian Rice, for instance, performed admirably when he took over at Hamilton last season but there aren't too many fans that would argue that he performed better than Neil Lennon or Steven Gerrard did.

To amend this issue, bonus points will be on offer for managers that record a victory of three or more goals. Each time their team wins by three or more, they'll gain an additional point. Using this system, last year's final standings would look like this.

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Steve Clarke still comes out on top, followed closely by Steven Gerrard and Derek McInnes. Brendan Rodgers, had he stayed at Celtic for the entire season, probably would have ended up finishing in first place and scored a tally of +15. Paul Heckingbottom, Brian Rice and Neil Lennon all clearly had a positive impact at their respective clubs, taking over halfway throught the season, and all three probably would have scored even higher had they had a few more games under their belts.

Now, it's worth pointing out that this is not a definitive list. We're not saying that these rankings are undeniably correct and immune from criticism. This isn't a perfect, all-encompassing way of measuring each manager's work and we're not going to pretend that it is. But it's a bit of fun and we feel that, largely speaking, the results are fair. There will, of course, be those that disagree and that's fine.

You can tune in each week to see how each Premiership manager is getting on and, come the end of it all, we'll have a clear winner that we can name our Manager of the Year. It will undoubtedly be another bonkers season in the Premiership. Let the madness begin.