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The home factor in Soccer


The home factor in Soccer

Analysis of the Portuguese, Spanish, English and Italian national leagues from 2000 to 2005. Analysis on the final score obtained by all the Portuguese champions on those seasons.

On average, teams win 63% of points at home. That is, from the total points won, 63% are obtained at home which is almost double of the points obtained away (37%).

This study was made by me, Paulo Rebelo, within the Statistics course of the degree in Business Administration from the Faculty of Economy from University of Oporto, which was high graded with 18 under 20 points.

I’ve decided to share this work in my website because it has relevant conclusions about the home factor in soccer.

You can download here the complete study (Download PDF - only in Portuguese) even though it has some technical language which requires some statistics knowledge to understand it fully; it is available for those who want to read more.


Here is the introduction of the work:

Soccer is now a major industry. The top clubs manage huge budgets.

Since the players are professionals and earn much above the average population and as the rules are the same for all matches, one should expect that the teams would reach the same performances playing at home or in away stadiums.

But the statistical analysis shows the opposite. There is some phenomenon called “home factor” that makes teams to have better results when they play at their home stadium.

This work aims to measure the importance of this variable in soccer. The causes for that, probably only psychology can explain it (specially the psychology of sport)…

 

Briefly, I can say that this work involved the analysis of the main soccer leagues of 4 countries (Portugal, Spain, England, Italian) between the years of 2000 to 2005, as well as the analysis of the score of the Portuguese’s champions until 2005.

Through the analysis of the last five editions of these soccer leagues, we observe that, for example, on average, teams win 63% of the their points at home. That is, from the total points earned in a season, 63% of those are achieved at home, which is almost double the points earned away (37%).

This number was obtained dividing the total number of points by each team in each season of its league, summing a total of 382 observations.

We can say that in Portugal, on average, teams win 65% of their total season points in home matches while in England this figure drops to 61%. Among the four observed countries, Portugal is the one where the home factor has the greater weight.

The most surprising conclusion that can be drawn from this study is that the home factor tends to be less important when we are looking to top teams. Statistical analysis proves that there is a correlation, even though a small one, between the home factor and the home team classification. The simplest explanation can be found in the following conclusion thinking it in the other way round: smaller teams are more dependent on the home factor to score than the bigger top teams.

In other words, the top teams are more regular, less dependent on the home matches to score. For the Portuguese case, it was observed the weight of the home factor in the champion teams since the beginning of the competition, and it was concluded that the average home factor for the Portuguese champions is 55% while the average home factor for all the teams of the Portuguese league is 65%.

 

Paulo Rebelo

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