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Fuel costs soar for Premier League away fans

The surge in fuel costs for Premier League fans driving to away matches this season has been illustrated by new analysis (Stephen Barnes/Transport/Alamy Stock Photo/PA)
The surge in fuel costs for Premier League fans driving to away matches this season has been illustrated by new analysis (Stephen Barnes/Transport/Alamy Stock Photo/PA)

The surge in fuel costs for Premier League fans driving to away matches this season has been illustrated by new analysis.

Supporters of champions Manchester City living near the Etihad Stadium can reach just five of the league’s other 19 stadiums on £20 of petrol during the 2022/23 campaign, RAC Foundation figures shared with the PA news agency show.

They could have driven to eight grounds within that budget a year ago.

Leicester City fans have seen the biggest reduction in the number of away matches they can attend on £20 of petrol.

Supporters following the East Midlands club away from home could have got to 11 of the 19 homes of other Premier League teams this time last year. Today the total is three.

For all 380 matches this season, the number of times supporters of the away team can reach the venue with a petrol bill of no more than £20 is just 94, compared with 153 a year ago.

It is a similar situation for fans driving diesel cars, with the total falling from 191 to 115.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Travelling supporters are amongst a club’s most loyal fans and they are prepared to put up with a lot to follow their team, but it is coming at an increasing price.

“While our analysis focuses on journeys made by football fans, our aim is to illustrate the financial implications of high fuel costs being experienced by tens of millions of drivers who rely on their cars for more mundane but necessary journeys.

“Fuel prices have come back a bit from recent highs but petrol still costs around 180p per litre, a level that would have seemed inconceivable not so many months ago.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

“And it’s not as if travelling by car was cheap last summer – even then pump prices were at uncomfortably high levels.

“Whatever strategy our new prime minister comes up with to ease transport costs for millions of households, they need to recognise that for many people, particularly in low-income jobs, travel spend is a huge and unavoidable part of the financial challenge they face.”

The analysis is based on journeys between stadiums, and assumes a typical fuel consumption of 33 miles per gallon (mpg) for a petrol car and 41mpg for a diesel car.

It uses average pump prices per litre of 182.8p for petrol and 193.0p for diesel recorded this month, and 134.7p for petrol and 137.3p for diesel from 12 months earlier.

Teams being promoted or relegated has not been taken into account for ease of comparison.

Fuel prices were already rising before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, but the impact of the war has exacerbated the situation.

A reduction in the use of Russian oil has increased demand from other producers, resulting in higher prices.