Newcastle and Sunderland may have shared a season to forget – but they topped the league when it came to travelling support.
New research shows Magpies and Black Cats clocked up more miles last season than any other supporters in the Premier League.
As England’s most northerly top flight club, Newcastle topped the table, with the Toon Army travelling a punishing 8,002 miles during the season.
As England’s most northerly top flight club, Newcastle topped the table, with the Toon Army travelling a punishing 8,002 miles during the season, while Sunderland were just a fairly hefty stone’s throw behind on 7,774 miles.
As Wales’ only Premier League club, Swansea’s travelling support faced 7,538 miles in total, enough to secure them third place in the league table, while Southampton, with 6,670 miles, and Hull City, with 5,918 miles, were fourth and fifth.
Unsurprisingly, it was the Midlands sides whose fans were the least footsore, with followers of Leicester City (4,056 miles), Aston Villa (4,215 miles and West Brom (4,227 miles) travelling the shortest distances of all 20 Premier League clubs.
But the data from travel search engine Gopili found the miles travelled by supporters of even the most geographically-challenged English sides paled into insignificance alongside those faced by fans on the continent.
Supporters of Palermo, Bastia and Celta Vigo topped the European travel league.
Fans of the Italian side can expect to cover a backside-numbing 29.950 miles during the course of a season, while the French club’s supporters will do 22.996 miles and the Spanish outfit’s followers will travel 19.224 miles.
In fact, Premier League supporters are the least well-travelled in Europe’s top five leagues.
With Liverpool, Everton and Manchesters United and City all being close together, while Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs, Crystal Palace and West Ham are just a Tube ride apart, the average distance travelled is kept down.
On average, Premier League supporters need to travel 5,460 miles a season, compared to 15,990 miles in table-toppers France, 13,430 in Spain, 11,160 in Italy and 7,830 in Germany.
And that is unlikely to change much next season, with QPR, Burnley and Hull set to be replaced by Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich, the latter thanks to winning yesterday’s Championship play-off final against Boro at Wembley.
There is some consolation for Newcastle and Sunderland in the finding that distance travelled does, indeed, seem to have a negative impact on results on the road.
In Italy, the second most-travelled team, Cagliari, was relegated to Serie B, with only three away wins, while in France Bastia could manage just four wins and 10 losses on their travels.
Celta’s victory over Barcelona may have been a game to remember, but it was one of just four away victories, while closer to home the Magpies’ relegation fight owed more than a little to their failure to record more than and three away wins all season. John Carver’s side came off worse a whopping 12 times on the road.
Sunderland suffered on the road, too, with an 8-0 drubbing at Southampton the darkest hour of a disappointing season.
But the trend changed towards the end of the campaign, with a win at Everton and last Wednesday’s 0-0 draw at Arsenal, which secured their Premier League survival ahead of what could have been a nerve-wracking final day.