In the 2011 hit "Moneyball," Brad Pitt starred as a manager who uses computer-generated analysis to find new talent to assemble a baseball team.
Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane -- famous for signing players on a budget -- introduces Hiroyuki Nakajima of Japan to the Oakland Athletics at the O.co Coliseum on December 18, 2012 in Oakland, California.
AZ Alkmaar's then-coach Louis van Gaal (R) and director Dirk Scheringa (C) pose with the champion plate as they celebrate their Dutch league title on May 10, 2009
Former U.S. midfielder Earnie Stewart celebrates his goal against Colombia in the 1994 World Cup. Stewart, who is half-Dutch, is director of football for AZ Alkmaar and a big fan of "Moneyball."
Smaller-budget teams are looking for any edge against big-spending clubs in Europe like Manchester City, bankrolled by Abu Dhabi.