England are through to the knock-out stages of Euro 2020. Four more matches to go for absolute success, three of which are at Wembley. The England team will be happy to know this should give them the ‘Home Crowd Advantage’, equivalent to a 0.5 goal bonus per match (according to Clarke & Norman, 1995).
There have been many studies conducted on the factors behind Home Crowd Advantage, and the majority of these focus on the role of crowd support. The theory is that the home team typically receives stronger support from the crowd which stimulates the players’ effort and energy.
When Covid-19 hit, some expected the home advantage to disappear along with the crowds. However, studies on the ‘ghost matches’ show that home teams still retain their tactical advantage, meaning this cannot be the only factor fuelling the home crowd advantage, and that we must also consider travel fatigue, familiarity, and territoriality.
That is not to say that crowd support has no effect however! It turns out that referees can be subconsciously influenced by the noise of the crowd in the stadium and react by favouring the home team by awarding them more penalties, giving less disciplinary sanctions, and conceding more stoppage time when they are behind.
So, if you’re at Wembley and England happen to appear, cheer as loud as you can!
If you have any questions on this topic, or how Impact’s behavioural science team could help you with your market research projects, do not hesitate to reach out to us.