English Football League sides make environment pledge

Six English Football League sides have pledged to travel to matches in a more environmentally friendly way, amid criticism of clubs flying to games.

Championship side Millwall, who have a “no-flight” policy, have been joined by Bristol City, Bristol Rovers, Forest Green Rovers, Mansfield Town and Swindon Town.

The Sustainable Travel Charter has been launched to help teams reduce their environmental impact.

Earlier this year,  A Media Sport research found evidence of 81 individual short-haul domestic flights made by Premier League teams to and from 100 matches during a two-month sample period.

In January, Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper defended his club after they were criticised for flying to and from Blackpool for an FA Cup tie.

The club took the 20-minute flight to Lancashire, a journey of about 135 miles, to avoid a road trip of about two hours 45 minutes.

Last season Wrexham took 16 domestic flights in their National League promotion campaign.

The charter, created by a working group made up of charity Pledge ball, the Football Supporters’ Association and the six clubs, aims to help the sides make more sustainable choices. It includes guiding clubs so “they can at least reduce the number of flights” that they take to matches.

Katie Cross, chief executive of Pledge ball, said: “Football clubs’ reliance on short-haul flights is a thorn in the side of their wider sustainability strategies. This charter seeks to address the elephant in the room and help clubs incorporate more sustainable travel practices into their operations and lead by example in showing fans and the public that climate action means walking the talk.”

Millwall’s chief financial officer Mark Fairbrother said: “Sustainability is a huge focal point of Millwall Football Club’s operations, with strong progress already being made to reduce waste, as well other eco-friendly initiatives.”

Kesh Awefada

Kesh Awefada

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