To fly or not to fly: Was it acceptable for Arsenal to charter a flight to Norwich?

 

Arsenal have been heavily criticised by environmental groups following their decision to charter a flight from London to Norwich ahead of their Premier League clash at Carrow Road.

The journey time for the Gunners was just 15 minutes, which as it has been pointed out by Jennifer Parkhouse of the Norwich and Norfolk Friends of the Earth, meant Arsene Wenger and his squad would have "spent more time getting on and off the plane than in the air."

Parkhouse added: "I cannot see any reason why they would have flown, other that it being a rather ostentatious display of the players' and club's wealth. It is absolutely absurd."

Yesterday, Wenger defended the decision, saying it was due to issues with other modes of transport available to the Gunners.

"Usually we take the train and there was no train available, so in the end we decided to fly because we had to drive up on Friday afternoon at the moment when you never know how long it lasts," he said.

A spokesman for the club added: "Given the severe disruption to rail services at the weekend the most time efficient option was to fly."

Time efficient indeed - 15 minutes is one short flight. But should there be trouble on the train network again, and the traffic is a bit heavy for Wenger's liking - the Gunners could beat that record.

If we exclude their fellow London clubs Chelsea, Tottenham, West Ham, Fulham and QPR, for which Jack Wilshere and co could just hop on the Tube, there are 12 other towns and cities that the Arsenal squad could conceivably fly to.

The shortest trip would be to Reading. Assuming an average speed of 400mph, Bacary Sagna could be there in just 6 minutes. The next quickest would be a trip to the south coast to play Southampton, which would take 10 minutes.

Norwich is the third nearest Premier League club to London after these two, with a point-to-point journey time of 15 minutes. If they went by coach it would have taken them approximately two hours longer.

The longest journey for Arsenal in the Premier League is the trip to Newcastle. The flight time to the north-east should take 36 minutes. Sunderland, a little further south, takes a minute less.

Trips by air to play United and City in Manchester take 25 minutes while Liverpool and Everton are a little longer at 27 minutes. Swansea, the only Welsh club in the top-flight, takes 25 minutes.

Much fuss has been made of Arsenal's decision to fly to Norwich - but are the Gunners really deserving of such criticsm? Had they flown to the Midlands to play Aston Villa or West Brom it seems unlikely much comment would have been passed. Yet the journey time would have been exactly the same as the one they took to Norfolk.

In any case, with Arsenal falling to a shock defeat at Carrow Road after an abject display, Wenger may want to rethink how his team journeys to and prepares for matches in the future.

 

Flight times from London to other towns and cities in the Premier League...

Reading - 6 minutes

Southampton - 10 minutes

Norwich - 15 minutes

Aston Villa - 15 minutes

West Brom - 16 minutes

Stoke - 21 minutes

Swansea - 25 minutes

Manchester United and City - 25 minutes

Wigan - 26 minutes

Everton and Liverpool - 27 minutes

Sunderland - 35 minutes

Newcastle - 36 minutes

New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter

EastEnders Christmas specials are known for their shouty, over-the-top soap drama but tonight the show has done itself proud thanks to Danny Dyer.

Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Sport
sport
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy
tvCall the Midwife Christmas Special
Sport
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny are preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
sport
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
tvLouis Smith wins with 'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there