Stadium construction and the distribution of winning percentages in the English and Scottish football leagues, 1888-89 to 1938-9

Lionel Frost, Luc Borrowman, Vinod Mishra, Abdel Halabi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


We test for a relationship between the distribution of winning percentages (i.e. competitive balance) and average home attendance in the English Football League and Scottish Football League from their foundation to the start of the Second World War. While the English League was more competitively balanced, with success distributed across multiple cities, for most clubs spectator demand was unresponsive to winning percentages and uncertainty of match outcomes. We extend the analysis by considering whether on-field success predicts increases in stadium capacity, which would allow further increases in attendance, revenue and investment in playing talent.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHistorical Perspectives on Sports Economics
Subtitle of host publicationLessons from the Field
EditorsJohn K. Wilson, Richard Pomfret
Place of PublicationCheltenham UK
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781788977845
ISBN (Print)9781788977838
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameNew Horizons in the Economics of Sport series
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing

Cite this