– Dedicated fans forced to travel thousands of miles to follow their team through domestic pre-season friendlies
– Exeter and Everton to travel over 2,000 miles through the pre-season period
– Many Premier League clubs no longer playing domestic friendlies, choosing lucrative overseas matches and hosting mini international tournaments instead
Motorway service stations, early morning trains and exhausting coach journeys are no strangers to the most dedicated of football fans. As pre-season friendlies get underway, our research reveals the lengths that football clubs are forcing fans to travel in order to watch their club prepare for the upcoming season. CrowdScores analysed every single pre-season fixture, totalling up the number of domestic miles fans would have to cover to follow their team around the UK.
For some of these truly dedicated fans, it will be an epic journey. Supporters of League Two Exeter City have the furthest to travel, an enormous 2,514 miles, equivalent to a return journey to Naples. The Devon club’s pre-season schedule sees the team playing away fixtures against Scottish teams East Fife and Arbroath as well as Weston Super Mare, Bodmin Town and AFC St Austell. Fans taking the train to all of these away fixtures would have to spend around £667 on fares, enough for a last-minute 14 night holiday in Orlando, Florida.
The single biggest distance any one club is travelling for a pre-season fixture is Brighton & Hove Albion. The Seagulls are travelling to Aberdeen to play a testimonial match for Jamie Langfield. As fans of one of the country’s most southerly clubs, any Seagulls supporters making the trip to the Pittodrie Stadium will have to cover over 1,000 miles to reach the home of one of the UK’s most northerly.
Not all clubs are travelling huge distances in pre-season, however. League One Burton Albion FC are travelling the shortest distance, covering just 26 miles with away friendlies against non-league Gresley FC and Mickleover Sports FC. Crystal Palace are bucking the Premier League trend, choosing to play the majority of the friendlies locally against the likes of Fulham and Dagenham & Redbridge, resulting in only 55 miles for their loyal followers to cover within the UK.
To get the fastest live scores from pre-season friendlies along with other teams from leagues and competitions all around the World download the free CrowdScores app now. Available both on iOS and Android devices.