Billy Beane has been hired as an adviser by AZ Alkmaar of the Eredivisie in the Netherlands.

Beane will provide Alkmaar advice  “in the areas of high performance and innovation”.

Alkmaar hopes Beane's experience as general manager of the Oakland Athletics will help the club close the gap on the big-spending sides of the league.

Alkmaar’s general director Robert Eenhoorn, who played for the New York Yankees and Anaheim Angels in the 1990s, said: “AZ was already very interested in the Moneyball principle before I got here. I have known Billy for a while, because of my history in baseball. When we approached him for this role with AZ, he was immediately enthusiastic.

“He has been able to close the gap with the big-market teams, by being innovative. We are very excited and look forward to working with him. Billy will give his advice from the States and he will visit Alkmaar a few times a year.”

Beane told the club’s website: “I am truly excited for the opportunity to be part of AZ Alkmaar in an advisory role. Despite being a great football club with a storied history, they face many of the challenges we have with the Oakland A’s. My love for football and AZ’s vision of the future of the club made this an attractive pursuit.”