Stephens, R, Bosworth, G and Shepherd, T (2018) Playing in the UEFA Europa League Does Not Adversely Affect English Premier League or La Liga Performance. Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology, 4 (1). ISSN 2411-5142

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This article presents data challenging the widely held but untested view that concurrently playing mid-week Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Europa League matches adversely affects domestic league performance.

Over 16 seasons we compared next-season domestic league performance of the two highest finishing UEFA Europa League qualifying clubs with the two highest finishing non-qualifiers in England and Spain.

Clubs concurrently playing UEFA Europa League football showed significantly superior domestic league performance including wins, losses, goals, goal difference and points tally. The number of European matches played was not related to domestic league performance.

The absence of prior rigorous analysis including appropriate comparison data has led to the proliferation of a widespread confirmatory bias, defined as the tendency to seek out evidence that backs one’s hunches and to ignore evidence that contradicts them. Based on our evidence, football professionals, journalists, pundits, and fans should consider the UEFA Europa League competition more favorably.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
Uncontrolled Keywords: football; soccer; confirmatory bias; UEFA Cup; midweek matches
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2019 08:51
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2019 13:04

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