AN ANALYSIS OF HOME ADVANTAGE IN THE TOP TWO SPANISH PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUES1

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Abstract

This study examines the effect of the points system on home advantage in the two top Spanish professional football divisions between the 1980-1981 and 2006-2007 seasons. From 1980-81, teams were awarded 2 points for a win. This was increased to 3 points starting in 1995-1996. Lower home advantage was expected with the 3-point system as a consequence of encouraging more attacking play from away teams. The results of an analysis of 20,992 games showed no significant differences in home advantage values between the First Division (66.3% before and 62.1% after the 3-point system) and the Second Division (65.6% before and 59.5% after). Nevertheless, there was a significant decrease in home advantage in both the First and Second Divisions after the introduction of the 3-point system. The results were compared with two similar studies of professional football in England.

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