By Tony Attwood
If you are a regular reader you will know that whereas when crowds were present, the home teams in the Premier League were likely to win games more often than the away team. Since games have been played without crowds present the reverse has been true.
The explanation for this (as I’ve noted several times) is that evidence now clearly shows that PGMO referees are influenced by the crowd – and thus are biased, rather than working at a 98% accuracy level, as PGMO has stated repeatedly.
But that leaves another question. Is this just something that has affected PGMO referees, or is it spread across other leagues?
https://www.soccerstats.com/leagues.asp has a page devoted to statistics from various leagues and this allows us to see what the current state of play is elsewhere.
|Leagues ▴||Played||Home Wins||Draws||Away Wins||Home advantage|
|Championship (tier 2)||269||42%||28%||31%||11%|
|League One (tier 3)||238||42%||22%||37%||5%|
|League Two (tier 4)||254||41%||26%||33%||8%|
|National L. North (tier 6)||154||39%||30%||31%||7%|
|National L. South (tier 6)||132||36%||23%||42%|
|National League (tier 5)||168||42%||20%||39%||3%|
|Women Super League||55||38%||20%||42%|
In 2018/19, 181 games were home wins out of 380 played – which is 47%. 128 were away wins – which is 33%, and 20% were draws.
So in the current season home wins are down 10%, with those games now turning into away wins or draws.
But only two other leagues (National League South and the Women’s Super League) have copied this trend. In all the other leagues the home advantage has remained. How can this be explained?
One possible explanation is that the referees in the lower leagues do not give an advantage to the home team because of crowd pressure, because the crowds are much smaller and much less vocal. But there is another factor – although this is based very much on my own observations.
In times when we are able to go and watch matches, when I am unable to watch Arsenal I tend to go and watch teams local to my area (the East Midlands) and I do find in watching the games that referees seem to be a lot more lenient in terms of what fouls they call.
If that is true, then it is quite possible that the extra leniency is more extended to the home team than the away team, perhaps because the away team are always “fighting” that bit harder being on unfamiliar territory. That is a supposition of course, and doesn’t explain why National League South is different in this regard from other leagues. Nor indeed why the Women’s Super League is getting different results.
Certainly the Premier League refereeing is different from the rest because it is the only set of referees who are employed by PGMO and who work to PGMO rules. They are, after all, the elite referees.
If anyone can explain why these results are showing up as they are I’d be delighted to hear all theories.
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