On Saturday night, Jürgen Klopp and his players took a short-haul aircraft from Newcastle to Liverpool rather than returning to their team van for the journey home
Because to their packed schedule, Liverpool felt they had no choice but to take a 33-minute break from Newcastle on Saturday night.
Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo scored for Liverpool in a 2-0 Premier League win over Newcastle on Saturday night. Their second consecutive win helped revive the club’s morale, but their trip to Tyneside drew criticism from the club’s supporters.
Jürgen Klopp and his team elected to fly rather than travel by coach or rail the 145 miles between Newcastle and Liverpool. According to flight monitoring websites, the team rented a plane from 2Excel Aviation to fly them from Newcastle Airport to Liverpool John Lennon Airport at 9.37 p.m. on Saturday, following their 5.30 p.m. kick-off at St James’ Park.
They were only in the air for 33 minutes before landing at 10.10 p.m. Given that the game ended about 7.20 p.m., it’s unclear why Liverpool felt the need to skip what would have been a three-hour road trip, having taken the coach to St James’ Park earlier in the day.
In the midst of the ongoing global climate crisis, the short-haul travel has raised concerns about its sustainability. Many Liverpool fans took to Twitter to express their displeasure with the decision, which contradicts the club’s reputation as one of the greenest in the Premier League.
“Indefensible @LFC – do better,” one fan commented. “Please sort this out @LFC,” said another. “There are no excuses, this has to end,” remarked a third.
Sport Positive declared Liverpool the greenest Premier League team in 2022, complimenting the club’s community activities and signing up to the UN Sports for Climate Action pledge, which means they intend to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030 and be net zero by 2040. The club also recently announced that it was the first Premier League club to receive the British Standards Institute certificate for sustainability.
Due to the short turnaround before Tuesday’s match against Real Madrid, Liverpool decided to fly back from Newcastle rather than travel back on the coach, which utilizes sustainable fuels that emit 90% less carbon emissions than diesel and was already traveling back to Merseyside. Klopp’s team will face the reigning champions at Anfield at 8 p.m., 72 hours after the Newcastle game, which Sky Sports will broadcast.
While making travel decisions, the club takes environmental factors into account, along with distance and expense. The performance benefits for the players were believed to be the most significant issue on this occasion, with Klopp wanting his men to recover as much as possible before the Champions League last-16 first leg against Real Madrid.
Liverpool wants to reach net zero in all of its activities by the end of the current season. They want to accomplish this by offsetting their carbon footprint with verified low-carbon projects.
This is a problem that all Premier League clubs are dealing with. Earlier this season Nottingham Forest came under fire for taking a 20-minute flight to Blackpool for an FA Cup encounter, directly after they boasted of an arrangement with energy giant EON to “raise awareness of the climate catastrophe”.
“Whether it’s ethical or not, I believe it’s very usual for a team, especially in the Premier League and a lot of Championship teams, to travel lengths like that,” Forest manager Steve Cooper said. “It’s probably not simply a question for Nottingham Forest. It is most likely a question for the entire Premier League. We are not outliers. In reality, because of our geographical location, we are most likely
Chelsea manager Graham Potter said in November that clubs should strive to avoid flying to domestic away games. “How we fly to Premier League games is something to think about,” he stated following the Blues’ flight to Newcastle. “We also fly domestically, which is a challenge. We should be able to come up with a solution. It’s not easy, but if we’re serious about it, as we should be, we should think about it.”