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News Report Page 6 of 18
Publication Date:-
2019-07-06
 
News reports located on this page = 2.

Tranmere fan meets foot balling heroes thanks to motor retailer

A Tranmere Rovers fan got to meet his foot  balling heroes after visiting his local Lookers Vauxhall car dealership. Craig Kearney, who lives in Saughall Massie in the Wirral and has been a Motability customer at Lookers Vauxhall Birkenhead for over 6 years, left with more than just a new car during his last visit. After mentioning that he was a huge fan of the Super White Army, staff decided to reward his loyalty with a chance to meet members of team at their ground, Prenton Park. Staff were able to organise the meeting following Lookers' sponsorship deal with the League 1 club, part of which saw it receive a Grandland X SUV to help with talent scouting activities.

The call to the club was made by Matthew Edwards, New Car Sales Manager, who has a good relationship with ex-Tranmere defender and now talent scout Shaun Garnett. Soon enough Craig and his family were shaking hands with their heroes, including their favourite players, defender Manny Monthe and Goal Keeper Scott Davies. Craig also received a ball signed by the entire team.  Craig said:- "I can't thank everyone at Lookers Vauxhall enough. I was absolutely blown away when the guys said that I could meet the team. My family has always been season ticket holders, so to get the chance to shake hands with my favourite players was just amazing. I can't thank everyone at Vauxhall Birkenhead enough for organising such a brilliant day for me."

The Motability Scheme is the worry free way for those with mobility issues to get a brand new car, scooter or powered wheelchair in exchange for either the Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance, the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment, the War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement or the Armed Forces Independence Payment.

Matthew Edwards, New Car Sales Manager at Lookers Vauxhall Birkenhead, said:- "Craig has been 1 of our most loyal Motability customers, so when we heard that he was a big Tranmere fan we knew we had to do something to make his customer experience that extra bit special. We have a great relationship with the club, which has been made better by our recent sponsorship agreement. Craig was able to meet all the players and, by all account, was smiling from ear to ear all day. A big mention should also go out to Motability specialist Gabrielle Porter, also a lifelong season Tranmere ticker holder, and whose idea it was to do something special for Craig."


Football's threat to the environment
Report by Jack Maher and Benedikt Bisig.

WITH football becoming an increasingly popular sport around the world, people are travelling for miles to attend games both home and away. As a result of the increasing popularity of the sport new clubs and teams are being set up at grass roots level. With an increased fan base of top tier football and an increased amount of clubs at grass roots level, travel is a key element as players, staff and fans need to move to and from venues as cheaply and effectively as possible. Travel is the biggest part of a football event’s carbon footprint. According to the "Greenhouse gas accounting report" by FIFA, over half of the predicted CO2 emissions for the 2018 World Cup came from ‘Travel’ as the predicted levels of CO2 emissions for travel were 1,600,246 tCO2e out of the total predicted CO2 emissions of 2,136,556 tCO2e. This shows that travel is a massive cause of CO2 emissions in sports. While there are other causes of CO2 emissions such as electricity demands for venues, transport is the cause that should be significantly reduced. Despite travel emissions needing to be reduced, there is seemingly no easy fix, as often the most accessible ways for fans to get to and from venues are the biggest threats to the environment. Grass roots football is also a factor, as teams often don’t have the funding in order to pay for big coaches to take the team, its staff, its equipment such as; balls, cones, water bottles and kits, and instead travel by car. This means instead of one coach travelling to a game there are multiple cars, which therefore emit more CO2.

Therefore, travel needs to be more fuel efficient. At the higher end of the football pyramid, away fans will often travel in their hundreds and sometimes thousands to opposition stadiums to attend the game. Fans often pride themselves on their passion for their team and show it by venturing miles up and down the country to watch their team live, but there is a consequence from that. Fans should not be encouraged to stay at home, but it is worth looking into the ways they get to games. People travelling in cars have a negative effect on the environment due to the large CO2 emissions cars give off, so more people travelling via train or even by electric car would be ideal, but pricing for trains is often an issue and the highway network currently lacks the basic infrastructure for long distance travel in an electric car. An example of this is the distance between charging points for electric cars, the average distance varies in different areas but in places such as North Yorkshire the distance between charging points can be up to 10 km, according to the BBC. As well as this there is also the issue of how long it takes to charge an electric car, as according to Parker.co.uk the Smart EQ Forfour model takes up to 6 hours to charge up to 80% of its full capacity. The electric car would be a useful alternative as it still has all the benefits and flexibility of a petrol powered car but has zero CO2 emissions, but the price is also off putting to some people, according to Parker.Co.UK, prices of what are considered ‘cheap' electric cars range from ₤13,995 to over ₤25,000. However, information located on the UK Government's website says that they will give back a grant of up to ₤3,500 on brand new electric cars. This is one way that the government is trying to convince people to make the switch to electric, but some people remain unconvinced. We asked 14 random people on the street in Southport if they would buy an electric car if prices were cheaper and charging stations were more frequent, and while 57% said they would, 43% said they wouldn't, which indicates that many people are reluctant to change from what they know. Out of all the people we asked, nobody already owned an electric car.

Trains are a good method of transport as they have zero C02 emissions, but train tickets can often be very expensive, and the price can be off putting for fans. According to an online survey we ran on Twitter which received 1148 votes, 80% of fans said they would be more likely to get the train to a Football game if the fare was cheaper. If games are postponed or cancelled the fans often find they have wasted money on train tickets as they didn't actually get to watch the game. Out of the 14 people we asked in Southport, 71% felt that they would be entitled to a refund on their train ticket if their football game got cancelled or postponed. We asked football fans how they travel to away games and the train and car tied at 36% each, with the next closest being the coach at 21%. This shows that the train does compare well to the car, but if CO2 emissions are to be reduced then the issues of the train have to be addressed. According to the Telegraph; the Department Of Transport, train companies and premier league teams were close to reaching an agreement in February 2019 that would cheapen travel for fans and make ticket prices more flexible. This is a similar idea to the 30% discount on train travel for home games that Norwich City offers, through the website Greater Anglia. When we asked people if they thought that football clubs should help the fans find the best deals on public transport, and contain links on the website to cheap train tickets, and contain information in the match day programme about cheap travel to future games, every single one of the 14 people we asked said yes they should.

It's not just the fans that travel to watch the team, as club staff will often make the journey, as coaching staff, physios the kit man and others also make the journey, and the club has to provide coaches for all of them as well. Lower league and grassroots teams often don't have the available funds to provide coaches for their staff and players, so these teams will often travel in a fleet of cars. A solution to this would be better funding from the FA, but funding problems go beyond not having team coaches, according to the Evening Standard, "only 1 in 3 pitches are deemed adequate by the FA," thus showing the need for more money for creating artificial pitches. It's not just the price that puts fans off, as many fans are reluctant to get trains to games because of the distance between the football grounds and the train station, as a fan could be could be put off by paying money for a train ticket and still having to take a long walk too, or having to pay for a taxi. According to Yeovil Town's official club website, the club's stadium, Huish Park, is about 3 miles away from the two nearest train stations. Yeovil's club website advises fans to get a taxi from the train station saying:- "Unless you love walking, a taxi to the ground would be advisable. Taxis are always available at both stations.'" The information on how to get the train to Huish Park is below the information on how to get there by driving on the directions section of the club website, so fans are less likely to see it. 71% of the 14 people we asked felt like their football club was easily accessible through public transport, which shows that while most clubs are public-transport friendly, there is still many clubs with work to do

In conclusion transport is still the largest producer of CO2 within football. But there is still a long way to go until transport is no longer the largest producer of CO2. The fact of the matter is that fans will still use their car if it is more practical and cheaper than public transport. The Football industry and Transport industry should work together for the benefit of the environment as well as football fans. If public transport becomes cheaper and more efficient, more football fans will want to use the services. This will then result in CO2 emissions being reduced as the amount of fans travelling to games in their car will be reduced. There is no definitive easy fix for this problem, and The FA, football teams, fans and the government all have a job to do to reduce CO2 emissions in football There is no definitive easy fix for this problem, and The FA, football teams, fans and the UK's Government all have a job to do to reduce CO2 emissions in football. We'd like to know your thoughts on this, so contact us at news24@southportreporter.com.

 
      
 
   
 
 
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