Fuel crisis hurting Manchester United and Manchester City fans

Manchester United and Manchester City fans driving to away matches look set to lose out because of the surge in fuel costs, new analysis suggests.

Manchester United and Manchester City fans driving to away matches look set to lose out because of the surge in fuel costs, new analysis suggests.

The RAC Foundation said the soaring price of fuel means it will cost football fans more and more to follow their teams around the country this season.

Its analysis shows that supporters of Manchester United living near Old Trafford or Manchester City fans living near the Etihad can reach just five of the Premier League's other 19 stadiums on £20 of petrol during the 2022-23 campaign

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    But they both could have driven to eight of the grounds within that budget a year ago.

    Leicester City fans have seen the biggest reduction in the number of away matches they can attend on £20 of petrol.

    Supporters following the East Midlands club away from home could have got to 11 of the 19 homes of current Premier League teams this time last year – but can now reach just three.

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    For all 380 matches this season, the number of times supporters of the away team can reach the venue with a petrol bill of no more than £20 is just 94, compared with 153 a year ago.

    The analysis is based on journeys between stadiums, and assumes a typical fuel consumption of 33 miles per gallon (mpg) for a petrol car and 41 mpg for a diesel car.

    It uses average pump prices per litre of 182.8p for petrol and 193.0p for diesel recorded this month, and 134.7p for petrol and 137.3p for diesel from 12 months earlier.

    Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "Travelling supporters are amongst a club’s most loyal fans and they are prepared to put up with a lot to follow their team, but it is coming at an increasing price.

    "While our analysis focuses on journeys made by football fans, our aim is to illustrate the financial implications of high fuel costs being experienced by tens of millions of drivers who rely on their cars for more mundane but necessary journeys."

    The analysis shows a similar situation for fans driving diesel cars, with the total falling from 191 to 115.

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    Fans of both Manchester United and Manchester City can reach seven other clubs on £20 of diesel, compared to eight last season.

    Mr Gooding added: "Fuel prices have come back a bit from recent highs but petrol still costs around 180p per litre, a level that would have seemed inconceivable not so many months ago.

    "And it’s not as if travelling by car was cheap last summer – even then pump prices were at uncomfortably high levels.

    "Whatever strategy our new Prime Minister comes up with to ease transport costs for millions of households, they need to recognise that for many people, particularly in low-income jobs, travel spend is a huge and unavoidable part of the financial challenge they face."

    Teams being promoted or relegated were not taken into account for ease of comparison.

    Fuel prices were already rising before Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, but the impact of the war has exacerbated the situation.

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    A reduction in the use of Russian oil has increased demand from other producers, resulting in higher prices.