Perceptions of contributions to the home advantage by English and Greek football fans

Matthew Lewis, Vicki Goltsi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Football fans’ perceptions of their role in the home advantage were obtained by questioning fans from supporters clubs using a paper and pencil questionnaire. 357 highly identified fans were questioned towards the end of the season, from clubs facing either certain (already promoted, relegated, or due to finish mid-table) or uncertain (possible promotion or relegation) outcomes in the English football league. All fans rated their fellow fans as significantly more supportive, loyal, emotional, and passionate than fans of other teams. All fans also rated their team kits, aspects of their home stadiums (view, comfort, atmosphere, facilities, attractiveness), and match-day catering, significantly higher than those of all other teams. There were no differences between the certain and uncertain groups. It is thought that this type of ‘positive illusion’ allows fans to maintain the positive outcomes of allegiance to their team, but reduces the potential discomfort of losing. However, fans of teams facing uncertain outcomes rated their identification with their fellow fans significantly higher than the fans of the teams facing certain outcomes, suggesting that fans of teams with an uncertain future come to identify more strongly with their fellow fans. These results concur with uncertainty reduction theory, which indicates that people identify more strongly with groups of high entitativity when they are feeling uncertain; this may be an efficient and immediate way of reducing self-conceptual uncertainty. The questionnaire was repeated with fans of teams playing in the Helenic Football Federation in Greece, this data is yet to be analysed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007
Event12th European Congress of Sport Psychology - Halkidiki, Greece
Duration: 1 Sept 2007 → …


Conference12th European Congress of Sport Psychology
Period1/09/07 → …
Internet address


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