The most successful colours in football

If you looked at a list of the most successful Premier League football clubs, we’re sure the same team names would crop up again and again. Some of the top teams may put their success down to skill, effort and strategy but are there any more factors at play?

With an impressive sporting legacy and links to the world of football since the production of its first pair of football boots in the 1930s, Gola wanted to find out whether colours of kits impacted on success. The study looked at the colours worn by all premier league teams for every game and used this to see whether any team strip proved luckier or more effective at producing a win in the Premier League.

Method

Gola gathered data on all of the home and away games played since the beginning of the Premier League in 1992 and cross referenced this against the colours worn in each game to see if there was any correlation between colours worn and outcome of the match. Data up to the 17/18 season was used as the current season hasn’t yet ended (and we wouldn’t want to tempt fate by assuming the winners just yet).

This study included the different colours worn for both home and away games. Where a shirt had multiple colours present, Gola based the colour choice on the majority hue. The number of games each colour was worn in was analysed and this was used to work out the numbers of wins, losses and draws to calculate win and loss rate overall.

most successful football colours graph

Wins

To work out the win rate, the total number of games each colour was worn for was taken and used to calculate the percentage of wins and losses compared to games played. Not only was red worn for the most number of games that won, it also had the highest win rate of all colours. Considering Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal frequently wear red, it may not be much of a surprise to fans that the hue fared so well. So, if you want to increase your odds, it might be time to consider adopting red for your home team.

In second place was claret, which when worn for games won 40.1% of the time (not bad odds at all). Claret is a regular colour worn by top league teams West Ham and Aston Villa. Blue came third with a win rate of 39.2%, a colour popular amongst Birmingham, Brighton and Everton. Other colours that fared well were gold, black and white, all achieving over 35% of wins when worn.

Green was the unluckiest colour for wins, achieving only 21.3% of wins overall, this has been worn in away games previously for Aston Villa, West Brom and Liverpool (alongside other teams). Unfortunately for clubs opting for less popular colours, such as Watford and Blackpool,orange and yellow didn’t get good results and won less than 29% of the time.

ALLWinsDrawsLossesPointsWin RateLoss RateTotal Games
Red16939811128692944.50%29.70%3802
Claret432300344161040.10%32%1076
Blue13899641194482239.20%33.70%3547
Gold41264729436%41.20%114
Black735528827272035.20%39.60%2090
White145811051593472435.10%38.30%4156
Grey46395017734.10%37%135
Turquoise7682133.30%38.10%21
Sky Blue609404870222332.30%46.20%1883
Navy317283483127029.80%44.60%1083
Purple69679928329.40%42.10%235
Yellow498487808201427.80%45%1793
Orange695912026027.80%48.40%248
Pink4842025%25%16
Green628114826721.30%50.60%291

Losses

Green performed worst on losses as well, losing over half of all games played. Could it be that the colour matches the pitch a bit too much and makes it harder to see your teammates?

Orange and sky blue also had a high number of losses, losing over 45% of the time. The loss rate is surprising considering some of the top clubs frequently wear sky blue.

Wearing pink proved to win 25% of the time and lose 25% of the time (the rest being draws). It may not be the best guarantee to win, but it’s certainly not the worst colour to wear overall.

Draws

When looking at draws, white was the colour most likely to produce a draw. Of 4,156 games played with a team wearing white, 1,105 resulted in a draw. It may not be the best sign to wear white for a vital game where a win is needed, if your team does you may not want to hold out too much hope. Red and blue also produced high numbers of draws.

As a percentage of all games, the less common colours proved more likely to result in a draw. Purple, green and turquoise all had a draw rate of over 28%, more than any other team. It shows going for unusual hues may not be the best strategy for your club.

Points

When based on points, red was the colour which came out on top. This, combined with the percentage of wins relative to games played, means red is the one to back if your team want to up the chances of a win. Quintessentially British colours showed to have luck on their side, as the top three highest winning colours were red,white and blue.

Pink was the colour that achieved the lowest number of points in the Premier League, worn only a handful of times and having more chance of resulting in a draw than a win.

Colour of choice

White was the most popular colour of choice, being the option chosen in 4,156 out of 20,490 games up to 2018. Whilst popular, this hasn’t ensured it produced the most wins, so some teams may want to rethink their away strips for next season.