Arsenal are urged to switch flights for rail trips
Gunners fan Jeremy Corbyn tells jet-setting Premier League football clubs to go greener
25 October, 2019 — By Calum Fraser
Islington MPs Emily Thornberry and Jeremy Corbyn with council leader Richard Watts
JEREMY Corbyn has said Premier League football giants should take more trains to European games instead of flying as a way of being greener.
The leader of the Labour Party spoke out against the jet-setting football clubs at the same time as revealing that a Labour government would force Premier League teams to create two supporter director positions on their boards so fans have a bigger say in the way their club is run.
The Islington North MP also laid out plans to make Premier League clubs invest 5 per cent of income from television rights into grassroots football.
Speaking at an event at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, he told the Tribune: “Arsenal like Manchester United and City are an international brand name, which means there is a whole lot of flying which I am not that keen on.
“In the case of European matches, certainly for the immediate parts of western Europe, it is possible to go by train. I think clubs could do more.”
Mr Corbyn is a proud Arsenal fan and his son Ben has a season ticket.
But he said that tickets across the top league were “too expensive” now.
“The tragedy is that grassroots clubs are struggling,” he added. “The real heroes of football are those who give up their time to train youngsters at places like Market Road.”
Arsenal have previously been criticised for flying to domestic matches as near to London as Norwich, but it is one of the few clubs with a stated sustainability policy.
It has a series of environmental measures at its stadium to reduce energy consumption and encourages staff to get to work by walking, cycling or public transport.