Do teams perform better when playing in front of more of their own fans?

By Ed McIntyre

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You would assume that when football teams play in front of a large support of their own fans spurring them on would result in more success, and when teams have more success their attendances increase. But research shows that teams who do have a large following aren’t doing so well.

Focusing on the Championship, we had a look at how the top seven teams in the division who have the highest overall attendance compare to their performances in the 2018/19 season so far.

As shown in the table, two of the top three sides in Championship are also in the top three for having the highest average attendance from their own fans in both home and away games.

However, four out of the seven are outside of the top six spots in the Championship, which shows that a higher support doesn’t result in the team performing better in matches. Stoke City are the lowest ranked side in those seven yet have the fourth highest overall attendance this season.

But, does a team that’s doing well results in higher attendances? We had a look the three other teams who are the top six in the league are ranking in terms of average overall attendance.

It is surprising to see that Middlesbrough who are second in the league have only the 10th highest overall attendance, and with the other two teams not having the highest support.

This also shows that the performances of certain teams does mean that their attendances will increase.

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