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Red Shirt Color has no Effect on Winning in the English Premier League

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Attrill, Gresty, Hill and Barton (2008) conducted a seminal study in elite English soccer demonstrating in archival research that from 1947 to 2003 seasons, teams wearing red uniforms won more than teams in other uniform colors. Their study was one of only very few that extended the color-in-context theory (Elliot & Maier, 2007) to team, ball-oriented long-duration sports. The current investigation explored the Premier English League from its inception in 1992 until the 2018 season and failed to detect through a one-way ANOVA test any uniform color effects (including red) (p-value= 0.520). Instead it was found that stadium capacity, which served as proxy to teams' wealth and resources, was strongly correlated with winning at home (p-value= 0.046) [as well as with away winning]. We further explored the original study's claim regarding the difference in performance between teams from the same city (i.e., derby matches) in which the team wearing red uniforms as their home color, ranked consistently better than their non-red wearing in-town rival. We found it difficult to substantiate such a claim as many of the teams were not playing in equally competitive leagues. We additionally discuss other weaknesses of the original study and call into question color effects in this athletic context.

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Red Shirt Color has no Effect on Winning in the English Premier League

Attrill, Gresty, Hill and Barton (2008) conducted a seminal study in elite English soccer demonstrating in archival research that from 1947 to 2003 seasons, teams wearing red uniforms won more than teams in other uniform colors. Their study was one of only very few that extended the color-in-context theory (Elliot & Maier, 2007) to team, ball-oriented long-duration sports. The current investigation explored the Premier English League from its inception in 1992 until the 2018 season and failed to detect through a one-way ANOVA test any uniform color effects (including red) (p-value= 0.520). Instead it was found that stadium capacity, which served as proxy to teams' wealth and resources, was strongly correlated with winning at home (p-value= 0.046) [as well as with away winning]. We further explored the original study's claim regarding the difference in performance between teams from the same city (i.e., derby matches) in which the team wearing red uniforms as their home color, ranked consistently better than their non-red wearing in-town rival. We found it difficult to substantiate such a claim as many of the teams were not playing in equally competitive leagues. We additionally discuss other weaknesses of the original study and call into question color effects in this athletic context.