Objectives The study aimed to address the paucity of research pertaining to perceptions of causes of the home advantage. The views of three key personnel groups in football (soccer) were examined with regard to their perspectives. Design and procedure Players (n = 94), fans (n = 116) and referees (n = 163) completed a ten-item questionnaire on which they rated the contribution of the most prominent factors known to influence the home advantage. Results Factor analysis revealed three subscales (officials, player state and home environment) relating to explanations for the home advantage. A MANOVA examining the groups’ ratings for these three subscales found that the fans and player gave higher ratings for the contribution of officials and player state than did referees, while the fans gave higher ratings for the home environment. Conclusion The present study provides an insight into conceptualisations of the home advantage from the perspectives of different football groups. The relevance of self-enhancement, emanating from motivational and information processing mechanisms, is considered.