Clubs in the Sky Bet Football League are calling for fans across the country to create a 'Wall of Colour' at their side's opening home league match by wearing home shirts, scarfs and, for the most loyal, body paint.
The rallying call comes after research from leading Performance Coach Jamie Edwards has found fans showing their support through the club colours has a greater impact than traditional vocal support alone.
The report found the psychological effect of fans wearing club colours can significantly impact on the way players respond on the pitch. Previous studies have found 93% of communication is non-verbal, including on the football field. Our minds react differently to visual stimuli and the human brain deciphers image elements simultaneously, while language is decoded in a linear, sequential manner taking more time to process.
Edwards explained: "While managers always ask fans to be vocal, in sports performance you focus on the non-obvious. For a supporter the obvious is making noise, however players react to visual changes before sound. The non-obvious for the fan is to make a visual impact."
"The 'Wall of Colour' is a call to action for fans to become the 12th man by creating a powerful visual cue to their players which shows total support. This is the chance for every fan to help shape their club's season."
The report also found they key time for fans to create a 'Wall of Colour' is during the first home game of the season. In the 2013/14 Sky Bet Football League season, of the 10 clubs promoted, seven won their first home game whilst three came away with a draw. In contrast all the nine relegated clubs lost their first home game. The research also found that a home team is 37.29% more likely to score goals than the away team.
The report from Edwards, commissioned by The Football League, also found that:
· Home advantage is a statistical fact with 45-48% of matches across European football resulting in a home win.
· Home advantage is reliant on a passionate fan-base and the noise made by a home crowd, which can directly influence results through motivating players.
· Red is statistically the most successful colour, followed by blue.
"There is no doubt that when you combine the elements of playing at home with visual fan support, fans can have an effect on team performance. Creating a 'Wall of Colour' can help your team win that crucial first game," Edwards added.
Shaun Harvey, the Chief Executive of The Football League, said: "The beginning of the new season is always a special time, with supporters full of hope and expectation that this season is going to be their year.
"It's great to see so many fans set to create a 'Wall of Colour' and I hope that supporters across The League rise to the challenge. Every side will want to make a strong start to the new season and the three points on offer could go on to make all the difference when the trophies are being handed out next Spring."
The 'Wall of Colour' is set to be created by fans over the opening weekends of the 8th, 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th August during which time each the 72 Football League clubs will be hosting their first home league match of the 2014/15 season.
To find out how you get support your club, check out your local official club channels, follow The Football League Twitter feed @football_league and join the conversion using #WallOfColour.