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Green supporters

Green supporters
Global warming is something which is talked about a lot these days, and in my opinion Governments all over the world should take it more seriously.

Everyone can do their bit, such as car sharing or using public transport whenever it is a realistic option, but in truth the real responsibility lies with governments. If public transport was better then more people would use it.

But what has this got to do with football?

Well, I think it is fair to say that football fans are generally 'as green as we can be' when it comes to travelling to matches. Whenever I go to Hereford United matches I try to utilise club transport, public transport or travel in a shared car.

People who drive to matches invariably offer other fans a lift. In other words we should get full marks for being green.

But is there anything that the 'football powers that be' could do to make travelling to matches more environmentally friendly?

I suppose the obvious thing that comes to mind would be to regionalise the game at the highest levels so that less fuel is used to travel to matches. However, if supporters had shorter distances to travel then a higher percentage of fans would probably travel to away games, so in all probability more fuel would be used rather than less. So for the purposes of saving fuel, regionalising the game would probably be pointless.

One thing that I feel the FA should be doing though is to partly sponsor train companies in return for the introduction of a 'Football Supporters Railcard' whereby supporters could travel on match days at a reduced rate. Encouraging more fans to travel by train would be a great idea. It would be nice to see the FA and the Football League active in this area.

Fixtures should also be arranged so that clubs' long distance games were played on Saturdays at 3pm. That way it would make it possible for away fans to travel both to and back from more matches by train. Newcastle v Portsmouth style fixtures on a Monday night should be the exception rather than the norm.

In football probably the biggest waste of fuel is during the group stages of the Champions League. After all it takes 96 group matches to reduce the Champions League from 32 teams to 16 which is a lot of air miles!

If the Champions League was all knockout it would involve less games, and would be more exciting. Even having the group stages later in the competition would save fuel as fewer teams would be in the groups.

Whilst it would take a lot more than cutting down on the number of long distance Champions League matches to slow down global warming, I think it is fair to say that if big organisations like the FA and UEFA made some 'environmental gestures' it could put more pressure on governments to take the matter more seriously. Whether governments would take any notice is another matter altogether!

Talking Billy Bollox

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Writer:Alan Brown
Date:Saturday June 21 2008
Time: 3:00PM

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