Thursday 23 March 2023

Premier League teams flying to games – what’s the impact?

Premier League teams flying to games – what’s the impact?

At least 81 individual short domestic flights have been made by Premier League teams travelling to 100 matches in just two months.

That’s according to research by BBC Sport, revealing that these include trips as short as Newcastle to Liverpool or London to Leicester.

Some of these journeys have been as short as 27 minutes, BBC Sport claims, surveying the travel taken for matches played between 19th January and 19th March this year.

The study reveals that 59 flights were taken for Premier League games, 16 for FA Cup fixtures and six for EFL Cup ties.

Across all 81 flights, the average duration was just 42 minutes.

Short-haul flights are considered the worst form of transport when it comes to producing carbon emissions.

Some of the flights that have been taken are ‘positioning’ flights, which is where an aeroplane flies with almost no one on board to pick up its passengers for private flights – 37 out of the 81 were marked as ‘positioning.’

The researchers stated that the exact number of passengers on these near-empty flights was not confirmed by the airlines in question.

Many of these planes originated from Scotland, however, adding an extra 201 minutes of flight time to certain journeys.

The Premier League stated: “Clubs have demonstrated their commitment to positive change in this area and continue to play an important role in raising awareness of the issue among fans, while also working on policies to improve environmental sustainability across their business operations.”

These changes include implementing green energy and encouraging fans to become more sustainable – however, it also added that it does not mandate each club’s travel to and from games.

BBC Sport stated that Nottingham Forest were one of the clubs that provided all flight data to the study, stating that it would use flights for four of its 23 away fixtures. “The club will always use rail or road travel unless there are overwhelming logistical and sporting reasons not to do so,” a spokesperson said.

The Football Association noted that the sport being more environmentally friendly was “very important” – but its statement continued: “It is the responsibility of each club to make their own operational travel choices across all competitions, including for Premier League, EFL and FA Cup matches.”

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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