How much is a goal in league two worth in league one?

There last couple of months were pretty hectic so this place got neglected. I’ve had a look back at the data I have and realistically there’s only a handful (probably around ten) more posts I can squeeze out of it so I’m going to finish with a bit of a sprint.

Firstly I want to finish a series of posts I’ve previously started looking at the effect of relegation/promotion on a teams ability to score/prevent goals. Firstly I did this for those going to and from the premiership and then to and from the championship. For the final part I’ll look at the teams promoted to and relegated from league one. This time I’m using a sample size in excess of 7000 games.

Initially I’ll look at teams that were relegated from the league one in ‘year 1’ and consequently spent ‘year 2’ in league two:

Year League Games Goals scored Goals per game
‘Year 1’ League one 1840 2005 1.090
‘Year 2’ League two 1840 2415 1.313

So to calculate how much a goal scored in the league one is worth in the championship:

Goals for per game (league one)/Goals for per game (league two) = 1.090/1.313 = 0.830

How about the other way around, teams that are promoted in ‘year 1’ and spend ‘year 2’ playing in the league one?

Year League Games Goals scored Goals per game
‘Year 1’ League two 1840 2874 1.562
‘Year 2’ League one 1840 2436 1.324

Goals for per game (league one)/Goals for per game (league two) = 1.324/1.562 = 0.848

For the third time in three posts the two ratios give similar numbers. By taking the average of these numbers I’m going to estimate that a goal in league two is worth ~0.839 goals in the league one. By following the same process for goals conceded and I got values of 0.779 and 0.746 (for relegation and promotion respectively), an average of ~0.763, which is significantly smaller than the value obtained goals scored.

In the next post I’ll combine the numbers from this and the previous two in the series to compare the relative strength of the four English leagues.

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