Home Advantage – Myth or Reality?

There are so many facts about football that can never be disproved. However, there are some that are pure fallacy and some that are up for argument. One of such myths is the home advantage.

It is said that home advantage increases the chances of winning, but this is not entirely true. Though the home team may feel at home, and probably knows the ins and the outs more than their opponent, it is not enough of a reason for the home team to win the game. If a player or a team is well prepared and confident, they can feel as relaxed and comfortable as the home team, and home advantage should not matter too much. So, it sounds strange when people say things like;

  • Playing an away game/match can be a tremendous disadvantage to the visiting team.
  • The “L” shaped locker room for the away teams in Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium suggests “Lose”, and the locker room meant for the away team during a Champion’s league game only has three working showers and one mirror.
  • The away team may be exhausted and fatigued from traveling long distances and having slept in a hotel, while the home team had the comfort of sleeping in their own beds.
  • Pictures of the home team’s wins are posted in locker rooms so as to play mind games on the visiting team.

These myths, and others like them, are meant to suggest that the home teams contribute in some way in making the visiting team as miserable as they can, so as to get an unfair advantage. However, after some mathematical and scientific tests, none of these proved to be true, and the effect of home advantage has been wearing off in the recent years. In fact, increasing a team’s pay can increase their willingness to win. Home win percentage dropped in 2015 and has remained low ever since. The rarity of away wins is gradually becoming a thing of the past.

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