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Article by : SlotsUp Team Jul 7, 2021

We’ve revealed which of the top 20 football teams in the UK have travelled the furthest and produced the highest level of Co2 emissions

Football is a huge part of British culture – and was actually invented right here on home soil back in the 12th century. There are over 40,000 football clubs registered within England at the moment, with many of them travelling around the country (and sometimes the world!) week in, week out, to play England’s national game. 

Whilst we love indulging in away games, pies and pints as the game starts – have we ever stopped to think about how football’s constant travelling, whether it be by air or road, could affect our environment? 

Analysing over 2000 matches from the UK’s top 20 football teams, experts at SlotsUp have found who travels the furthest and who produces the most Co2 emissions whilst doing so.

Which UK Football Team Has Travelled The Furthest?

Football Travel Miles Ranked

Manchester United topped the table for the furthest travelled, which is unsurprising given their impressive track record. The team finished the Premier League in 2nd place during the latest season and have been involved in a European competition every year for the last 6 years. Manchester United travelled an estimated total of 94,460 miles between 2016 and 2021.

Arsenal came a close second, with a total of 87,421 miles travelled over the last five years. Like Manchester United, they’ve played in an overseas competition in every year we’ve looked at  – playing a combined total of 30 overseas league games between 2016/2017. 

West Brom travelled the least with a total of 24,702 miles. The Midlands-based side has been up and down in the league tables, and haven’t been involved in any overseas competitions in a few years. They only got promoted back into the Premier League from the Championship in 2020, after being relegated into the lower division in 2018.

Which Football Teams Have Travelled Furthest By Road?

Football Super Emitters

Newcastle, who have been in the Premier League for the last four years – haven’t had the opportunity to play in a European competition since 2013, which means quite a lot of road travel. Since the 2016/2017 seasons, Newcastle has travelled an estimated 50,797 miles by road – creating over 81,000,000 grams of Co2.

Brighton were also top scorers (excuse the pun) on the table, travelling 39,002 miles in five years – which equates to 27,705,966 grams of Co2. Both teams travelled more than the Premier League’s top three 2020/2021 teams, with the competition’s most recent winners Manchester City racking up 38,314 road miles over the last five years. 

Everton were one of the least travelled teams, with 29,891 road miles under their belt – which is around 48,056,490g of co2. Overall, Everton had one of the lowest ranking miles – with 41,522 miles of air and road miles combined – this was even with a couple of overseas matches following a run in the Europa League back in the 2017/2018 season.

Which Team Has Racked Up The Most Air Miles?

Football Teams That Have Harmful Carbon Footprints

Whilst Manchester United also topped the scoreboard for the furthest travelled overseas, with a total of 60,771 miles – they also had the return trip that created the most emissions, their 2019/2020 Europa League match against FK Astana in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan saw them travel around 9696km, which created an estimated 33,824,000 grams of Co2.

Arsenal were close behind Manchester United, with an estimated 59,342 miles travelled in the last five years – one big contribution to this figure would have been two matches against Qarabag FK in the 2018/2019 Europa League. The matches, which took place in Baku, Azerbaijan would have seen around 16,236km flown, and an estimated 53,592,000 grams of Co2 created.

Some of the least travelled overseas teams included southern-side Southampton, with only 3 matches played overseas in the last 5 years, following a semi-successful Europa League run in the 2016/2017 season. Their overseas travel only clocks in at an estimated 7,327 miles – which creates an estimated 43,452,000 grams of Co2.

Football Teams With The Largest Carbon Footprint Revealed

Football Air Miles Ranked

Manchester’s mighty reds also found themselves at the top of the table for the most Co2 emissions, Manchester United’s 94,460 miles of travel has created an estimated 442,540,000 grams of Co2 – with 89% of that being made through their overseas travel. 

In the last year alone they’ve produced 91,662,000 grams in Co2 through overseas travel – which is equivalent to 10,421 gallons of petrol, partly due to a semi-successful run in the 2020/2021 Europa League where they lost the final to Spanish side Villareal in Gdansk, a trip that created over 11,000,000 grams of Co2.

Teams with lower emissions included midlands-based Wolverhampton Wolves, who have only played 6 overseas league games in the last five years. A hefty trip to Istanbul to play against Besiktas in the 2019/2020 Europa League created 17,538,000 grams of Co2 – but with an overall total of  124,971,395 grams, that’s still considerably lower than some of the teams on our list.

Manchester Derby: Which Manchester Team Emits The Most Co2?

Manchester Football Teams Carbon Footprints

We already know Manchester United has the most harmful carbon footprint, with over 400,500,000 grams of Co2 emissions – but how does that compare to their local rivals Manchester City?

Once known (and maybe still known, according to some fans)  as Manchester United’s ‘noisy neighbours’ – Manchester City have certainly made a comeback after falling into a tough spot during the 90s, with the team winning this year’s Premier League under the management of Pep Guardiola. 

Manchester City’s success both in the U.K and overseas in the last few years found them place still pretty high on the emissions table, at 5th place with an estimated 273,870,461 grams of Co2 created between the 2016/2017 and 2020/2021 seasons.


We took a seed list of the top 20 premier league teams from the end of the 2020/2021 season and analysed each of their away league games (friendlies, charity matches etc were not included) from their last 5 seasons to determine which team has travelled the furthest and has the biggest carbon footprint.

To do this we measured the distance from one home ground, to another – UK mainland matches were measured using the quickest driving route on GMaps, whilst overseas matches were measured from the home team’s closest international airport, to the away team’s airport using both GMaps to find the airports and atmosfair.

Measuring Co2

For UK mainland matches (road miles), we used this BBC climate change study that stated a coach emits 27g of Co2, per passenger, per KM – we used this figure to create our final Co2 amount on the basis of 37 squad and staff members travelling on the coach.

For overseas matches (Airmiles), we also used atmosfair to measure Co2 of the flight path from one airport to another Again, on the basis that 37 squad and staff members were travelling.

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