Wednesday 24 May 2023

Premier League preseason: What’s the carbon footprint?

Premier League preseason: What’s the carbon footprint?

The Premier League season draws to a close this weekend – but the clubs involved will begin their preseason tours from August.

All of these are taking place outside of England with some teams playing as far away as the US, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand.

These preseason matches will lead to just shy of 20,000 tonnes of carbon emissions, a study by data company InfoGr8 claims.

Significant air miles for players, staff and fans mean this small group of two to three games has a huge environmental impact, it says.

The analysis alleges that last year’s friendlies racked up more than 280,000 air miles and 19,800 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Brighton were the only side not to go abroad for preseason in 2022, which saw the club bottom of the emissions table.

A less familiar top four consisted of Aston Villa, Leeds, Manchester United and Crystal Palace for the most distance travelled and carbon emitted.

The researchers claim that the estimated impact of this forthcoming preseason is the same as heating 2,400 homes for an entire year.

Stewart Pickering, Data visualisation specialist who worked on the analysis, said: “Our visual story proves that pre-season friendlies are unfriendly to our planet. The Premier League and its clubs should demonstrate commitment to climate action by reducing or abandoning them. We really don't need to see two English clubs playing each other on the other side of the world.

Football clubs must take action to reduce their carbon footprint during pre-season friendlies if they want to claim a true commitment to sustainability. It's time for the Premier League and its clubs to step up and take responsibility for their impact on the environment.”

The Premier League has been approached for comment.

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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