(Reuters) - Newcastle United supporters will cover the longest distance by road and part with the most money during a busy run of Premier League fixtures over the festive period, according to a study published on Friday.
Rafa Benitez’ 14th-placed team will travel to Merseyside to face leaders Liverpool at Anfield on Dec. 26 before visiting London to play Watford at Vicarage Road three days later.
Their fans will spend 14 hours covering 880 miles by car for the games, with each spending 282 pounds ($356.81) for tickets, travel and food, says research by TV and broadband provider Virgin Media and the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF).
The study analyses the costs incurred by the supporters of 92 clubs across the English top flight and Football League for fixtures between Dec. 26 and Jan. 3.
“The Christmas and New Year period is one which fans love, and one which can stretch the wallet - but we know supporters will continue to back their teams in amazing numbers,” FSF chief executive Kevin Miles said.
“Travelling fans are a massive part of that tradition but their support should never be taken for granted and we’d like to see clubs and sponsors doing everything they can to ensure football is affordable for all.”
Premier League fans will spend an average of 122 pounds each over that period, with supporters of the second-tier Championship clubs close behind at nearly 111 pounds each.
Fulham fans will travel the fewest miles and spend just under 49 pounds each, as their only away fixture in the period is a 20-mile trip to fellow London side Arsenal.
Southampton fans will rejoice after club sponsor Virgin Media subsidised ticket prices for their match at Chelsea on Jan. 2, meaning they will pay 20 pounds instead of 30.
The average ticket price for a top-flight away match is around 29 pounds.
($1 = 0.7903 pounds)
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Ken Ferris