Do clubs that play soccer on artificial grass have an advantage?
Do clubs that play soccer on artificial grass have an advantage compared to clubs that play on natural grass? Many clubs claim this and lobby against artificial grass. But does playing on artificial grass really give an advantage? According to Professor Jan van Ours it does.
In 2015, the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) conducted it's own statistical research on this matter and concluded that it is a myth that clubs that play on artificial grass have an advantage.
However, in the past few year, Jan van Ours, Professor of Applied Economics at Erasmus School of Economics, conducted his own statistical research and he finds that league clubs that play on artificial grass obtain an average of 0.32 extra points per home game. In other words: those clubs earn more than five points extra in an entire season as compared to clubs that play on natural grass.
How is it possible though that the results of the KNVB and Professor Van Ours differ? According to Professor Van Ours, this is because the effect of playing on artificial grass was not yet measurable when the KNVB conducted it's research. 'The effect is now visible because many clubs play on artificial grass, whereas only 1 or 2 premier clubs did in 2013/2014', says Profesor Van Ours.