I have heard it all now.
The BBC have published an article on “how to be a sustainable football fan”.
What it basically does is blame match going fans for the ever increasing carbon footprint of football; and more specifically the Premier League.
The first line lays out the intentions Emlyn Begley, the author of the hit piece. It is to fan shame.
“You drive to the game, have a beef burger, hand over your ticket, watch the match and give the third kit you bought a rare outing.”
In blaming the fans, Begley is moving the blame away from the authorities and the TV companies. All of whom act without regard for match going fans or the environment.
For all of Sky’s “Game Zero” marketing, the decisions by them, BT Sport, the BBC and other broadcasters often force fans to “drive to the game”.
Given the choice, most fans will almost always take public transport to games; especially those away. This usually results in train journeys – the most environmentally way to travel long distances.
Yet TV companies reschedule games with no regard to how fans will trace to them. Often putting games at times of the day when they know match going fans will struggle to get a train home.
This is what forces more fans to drive to games. More fans on the road, in cars.
It is also the clubs, alongside kit manufacturers, that bring out 3 kits a season for every club. And multiple more training kits.
This is a perfect example of putting profit before the environment.
The BBC blame the end consumer, but why not focus their attentions on the clubs and the likes of Nike, Adidas, etc.
What is the carbon footprint or manufacturing and shipping 3 kits a year? Millions more made in China, India, etc to satisfy demand.
Premier League clubs are attempting to export the game throughout the globe.
Instead of encouraging fans from around the world to support their local team, which would result in a lesser carbon footprint, they attempt to draw them into supporting a team many thousands of miles away.
This leads to some fans having to take long haul flights to see the club they support; rather than maybe just walking down the road to watch their home town team.
Likewise the clubs then go on these money spinning world wide pre-season friendlies.
In recent years Arsenal have been to Australia, China, Singapore and America to play fellow Premier League clubs.
What is the environmental impact of these pre-season tours in comparison to playing Barnet, QPR, Dagenham & Redbridge and Leyton Orient? Once again it comes down to money.
And then we have the owners themselves. Flying around in their private jets from whatever tax haven they live in to watch a game.
The BBC calling out fans for “driving to a game” whilst their owners fly, or park their multi-million pound yacht at Chelsea Harbour.
And then hey also use their private plans to bring back their pampered stars from Brazil, Argentina, or wherever they have gone to represent their national team.
Is getting back into England half a day earlier really more important than helping save the environment?
We tweeted Emlyn our concerns over the article and it resulted him in blocking us.
Clearly he / him was more interested in attacking match going fans rather than highlighting what football clubs, the authorities and the TV companies could do to reduce the carbon footprint of football.
In the ashes of the Super League debacle, once again a journalist has shown that they do not care about match going fans. They only care about their paymasters and not upsetting them.