Football takes an important part in the British culture and as travel professionals, we wanted to analyse the travel factor for football supporters and teams as well as comparing the data with the 4 others major European leagues:

  • Fans of Palermo (29.950 mi), Bastia (22.996 mi) and Celta Vigo (19.224 mi) are the European champions of football travel for the 2014-2015 season.
  • Premier League Top 3: Newcastle United, Sunderland and Swansea City.
  • Our statistical analysis: the more the team travels, the less chance it has of winning its away games.




Premier League: Newcastle United supporters win the trophy

Newcastle United football fans, with 8,002 miles covered during the season, are the Premier League champions of football travel. The second and third ranks are respectively for Sunderland and Swansea City supporters with 7,774 mi and 7,538 mi travelled. Southampton (6,670 mi) and Hull City (5,918 mi) complete the Top 5. Overall, supporters of Northern England cities, with 3 clubs in the Top 5, are the ones travelling the most.
The supporters who made the lowest number of miles to follow their team during away games are those of Leicester City (4,056 mi), Aston Villa (4,215 mi) and West Bromwich Albion (4,227 mi).


Premier League supporters need to travel on average 2 to 3 times less than other European fans

The average number of miles travelled by supporters in each country reveals that Premier League fans are the ones who need to travel the least to support their team, due to a centralized league: six teams play their games in London and its surroundings. On average, Premier League supporters need to travel 5,460 mi versus 15,990 mi in France, 13,430 mi in Spain, 11,160 mi in Italy and 7,830 mi in Germany.

Among the supporters travelling the most in other European countries: Bayern Munich, Galician teams and fans of teams situated on islands.

In Germany, supporters of Bayern Munich have covered the highest number of miles this season to watch the games. In total, they had to travel 10,948 miles to be able to support their team to the victory of the 2014-2015 Bundesliga Championship.

In Spain, it is the fans of Galician teams Celta Vigo and Deportivo La Coruna who travelled the most. Overall, supporters of teams situated on islands are the champions of football travel: Palermo (Sicily), Bastia (Corsica) and Cagliari (Sardinia) fans had to cover on average 700 more miles per away game than other European teams’ supporters. The average number of miles to travel to support these 3 teams for the entire season is 24,120 mi versus 10,400 mi for the average of other European teams.

Does the distance to travel for away games has an impact on the results of the teams?

In this end-of-season, the distance covered by players and supporters for away games is a relevant data to analyze combined with the teams’ results. By analyzing the top travelling teams’ performances for away games, we can notice the results are overall negative. In Italy, the second team which travelled the most, Cagliari, is relegated to Serie B, with only three away wins. In France, the club travelling the most, Bastia, only gets 4 away wins for 10 losses. In Spain, Celta, despite of its great victory in Barcelona’s stadium in the first half of the season, only gets 4 wins in the entire season during away games. Newcastle United on its side lost 12 times and won only 3 times away from its stadium. The exception that proves the rule is in Bundesliga where Bayern Munich swept his rivals with 64% of away wins.


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Distances analysis procedure

Distances have been calculated considering that fans are attending all of their team football games for the 2014-2015 season. The calculation of the distance travelled by fans for each game takes into account the round trip between the two cities. Distances have been calculated on Gopili, on the shortest journey by car or bus (and ferry when needed).

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