Tottenham criticised by environmentalists for taking 'unnecessary' 20 minute flight to Bournemouth

A coach trip to Dean Court would have taken around three and a half hours

Tom Sheen
Tuesday 27 October 2015 17:21

Environmental organisations have criticised Tottenham Hotspur for their decision to fly to their Premier League match at Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon rather than use a coach, calling the decision "surprising” and “unnecessary”.

Tottenham are not the only club to fly short-haul for away trips, Premier League clubs travel that way almost on a weekly basis, with Arsenal and Chelsea both heavily criticised in the past for flying to Norwich. With the 120-mile trip taking about three and a half hours by coach, Spurs decided that a 20 minute flight was the better option for the squad.

Speaking after the game Harry Kane, who scored a hat-trick as Spurs romped to a 5-1 victory at Dean Court, said the flight helped his preparation.

"We got down there early Saturday evening and had a chance to chill out, have our food, chill in the room and have a good sleep," said Kane, who had scored just one goal this season before hitting three on Sunday.

"It is good preparation. For us, if we had got a coach I still think we would have been mentally prepared and ready to go but the club made that decision. But it helps recovery. You get back quicker, get home, get good food into you and that is important. The more the club can do to help the players recover, the better it is."

However, environmental organisations Greenpeace and the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) both argued that the flight and others of its kind are unnecessary.

"Whist Harry Kane’s return to form may be a cause for celebration for Spurs and, potentially, England fans, it could have unfortunate and far-reaching environmental and economic consequences," Dr Doug Parr, Greenpeace UK's Chief Scientist, told The Independent.

"We only have a finite amount of carbon we can emit and need to cut back on unnecessary emissions. If Harry needs a pre-match short-haul flight in order to score, then the whole country needs to have a serious conversation about whether our farming sector, our construction sector or what’s left of our heavy industry should take the pain in order to improve Spurs’ performance."

James Lees, Research and Communications Officer at the AEF, added: "Tottenham have taken some good steps to cut carbon in the past, so it's quite surprising they've chosen the most carbon intensive mode of travel to get a location easily accessible through other means.

“Tackling climate change needs leadership, and it's about time well known football clubs such as Spurs, show a bit of it. Some big organisations are avoiding flying when they don't need to and they've found they are saving money as well as helping the planet."

In 2012 Spurs signed up for the 10:10 climate change campaign to slash carbon emissions by 10 per cent. The club increased recycling, cut out the use of bottled water and encouraged the public to use public transport over other driving.

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