Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Sat Nav ready for the Premier League?

With the fixtures coming out today it could be a good time to think about those travel plans. I actually had this story as a thought when AFCB were closing in on Premier League football, towards the end of last season. My friend, Michael Dunne, at All Departments and also the Analyst in the Matchday programme is perhaps the stats man for the Cherries, but I had not seen him write about the distances to other football ground in the Championship and I just wondered if the promotion would be a lot worse for us travellers in terms of mileage on the roads next season even though it would be fewer games.
Fans will be clocking up the miles from here next
season and we'll have some great stadiums to see.
It was perhaps a little pleasing to see Burnley the first to drop out of the away games next season, although Eddie and Jason would probably like to visit their old stomping ground for obvious reasons. But that is a 287.76 mile journey (round trip 575.52 miles) that they and AFCB fans won't have to make in 2015-16. I was a bit more disappointed to see the relegation of QPR, because Loftus Road is a stone's throw away at 102.27 miles from Dean Court and even closer to me in surrey. That would have made it the second closest ground to visit, but a final 6-0 thumping by Man City in May saw the end to that.

So it is to our old friends down the road at St Mary's when you can have a lie-in and the trips to the capital will be popular and a well trodden route in 2015-16 with five Premier League clubs to go and play, plus Watford which is only just over 100 miles away. Three Midlands teams and a trip to Wales make up the middle ground, but there will Merseyside and Manchester will be long trips that are too appetising to resist for many, and 500+ mile round trips will be the verdict for those of us that follow the Cherries to those fantastic stadiums.

I had to hang on to wait and see which of the three most distant clubs AFCB would be left with in the last weeks of May, and while I was mindful that Newcastle and Sunderland was the furthest away, their Premier League badges probably shined brighter than that of Hull City for me. Indeed it was Hull City that slipped out of the Premier League saving AFCB fans a 563.84 mile round trip. The Championship play-offs would also add on a few miles though with Norwich joining AFCB and Watford to complete the table for next season - congratulations to the Canaries.  

While you may not want to drive to all these matches, perhaps the train or the AFCB official coaches are a less stressful way of getting to the games. The latter options also give you more chance to enjoy a tipple at the local waterholes. 

Distance by road from the Goldsands Stadium in miles using RAC Route Finder brackets equals round trip mileage.
Southampton 32.11 (64.22), Chelsea 103.09 (207.8), Watford 105.7 (211.4),

West Ham 114.89 (229.78), Arsenal 116.15 (232.3), Crystal Palace 116.8 (233.6), Spurs 118.86 (237.73), Aston Villa 167.51 (335.02), WBA 172.44 (344.88),

Leicester 172.66 ( 345.32), Swansea 201 (402), Stoke 208.82 (417.64), Norwich 229.46 (458.92), Man Utd 260.31 (520.62), Man City 261.49 (522.98), Liverpool 262.4 (524.8), Everton 262.87 (525.74), Sunderland 353.3 (706.6), Newcastle 357.2 (714.4)

Total 3617.06                        Round trip Total 7234.12

Last season AFCB fans who travelled from Bournemouth to all the away league matches will have clocked up around 9000 miles on their travels and of course visited 23 grounds.

Reading 71.19, Brighton 95.84, Brentford 99.88, Fulham 102.65, Watford 105.7, 
Millwall 109.6, Charlton 140.68, Birmingham 163.78, Cardiff 163.79,  Wolves 184.95

Ipswich 194.46, Nottm Forest 201.85, Derby 203.01, Norwich 229.46Rotherham 238.34, 
Sheffield Wed 243.59, Wigan 254.16, Huddersfield 264.76, Bolton 265.81, Leeds 269.2

Blackburn 275.59, Blackpool 290.01, Middlesbrough 326.69

Total 4494.99   Round trip 8989.98

The BBC also recently did a report on the 2014-15 away fans in the Premier League which you can see by clicking here.

There are also reports this morning that AFC Bournemouth have had a bid of anywhere between £3.5-5 million rejected by Saint Etienne for winger Max Gradel.

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