Monday, May 25, 2009

Southern Comfort

Millwall’s tragic defeat to Scunthorpe solved the final question about Charlton’s opponents in 2009/10.

And with Norwich by far the most ‘northern’ of the seven new entrants to League One next season, it threatens to resemble the old Division Three (South).

I am reliably informed that Charlton travelled a weary 3,483 miles last season, which might begin to form the basis of a reasonable excuse for our relegation, except that Plymouth travelled 5,722 and managed to finish 21st.

The most environmentally-friendly fans were Coventry’s, who were able to travel to their 23 away games clocking up only 2,542 miles. But next season, the fulcrum of League One is likely to be somewhat further south.

The play-offs have ensured that the quintet of Millwall (5 miles), Colchester (61 miles), Southend (40 miles), Gillingham (30 miles) and Leyton Orient (8 miles), will offer five easy away games for less than a tank of petrol. Those with a particularly efficient car might also squeeze in Norwich too (113 miles).

It’s just 18 traffic-clogged miles across town to Brentford meanwhile, whilst continue westward for Wycombe Wanderers (53 miles).

Two easy trips to the south coast see us visit Brighton (70 miles) and Southampton (116 miles), whilst a brisk drive up the M1 sees a first visit to the MK Dons (70 miles), and continue up the M6 to Walsall (139 miles).

Traditionally trips to the South-West were reserved for pre-season friendly tours, but Charlton fans can now enjoy competitive fixtures against Swindon (95 miles), Yeovil (142 miles), Bristol Rovers (132 miles) and Exeter (214 miles).

Indeed only seven of our fixtures next season can be termed truly ‘northern’, namely Leeds (219 miles), Hartlepool (265 miles), Oldham (224 miles), Stockport (214 miles), Huddersfield (206 miles), Tranmere (230 miles) and for the truly insane, Carlisle (329 miles).

So there you have it, just 2,993 miles to travel next season, a 490 mile saving on 2008/9. Strip out those rather unappealing seven trips up north, and fans can enjoy 16 away games by driving just 1,306 miles one-way.

Indeed, why stop there? By my estimation, the optimal place to live for Charlton fans planning to travel away next season is probably somewhere on the Buckinghamshire/Oxfordshire border. And with reasonable commuting times to London, and abundant countryside, it offers certain other appeal too.

Footnote: I know you're probably desperate to know whose fans had the shortest journeys in 2008/9 amongst all 92 clubs. Guess's Manchester United's, and no it's not a joke about their famously unMancunian fans. Not only did they win the Premiership, but they only clocked up 2,193 miles doing it.


At 7:04 AM, Blogger Suze said...

Ahhh....but then I'll only be clocking up 29 miles to Norwich. It'll be my home tie...
Each Charlton home game, 107 miles away...but then I guess that's slightly easier than your several thousand...

At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Ketts said...

The good thing about being based in the Midlands is the travelling time does not vary that much.I will probably still clock up more miles to home games than I will for the away ones!

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Dave said...

You can't beat living 100 yards from the East stand!


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