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Newcastle fans top losers league in away game costs.

In a game of winners and losers Newcastle United fans come off worst.

A survey of how much it costs supporters to follow their heroes puts United fans top of the league of losers with them shelling out up to pounds 1,163 a year to follow the Magpies.

Co-operative Financial Services (CFS) found Birmingham City fans were the winners financially, with the club's central location helping to minimise travelling costs.

Fans of London clubs Arsenal and Chelsea and followers of Manchester United are also at the "cheaper" end of the table.

Any fan who attends all the Magpies' away matches will travel 8,482 miles, the study found.

Newcastle supporters who travel by train will pay an average pounds 2,053; petrol will cost those who travel by car pounds 957.07.

Coach travel is the cheapest, but for Geordie fans it costs more than pounds 780 over a season ( more than those of any other Premier club.

This season the longest single journey for fans is that between Newcastle and Portsmouth, where a 678-mile round trip could cost an average pounds 72 in petrol, pounds 105 for a standard return train ticket or pounds 53 for coach travel.

CFS's Duncan Bowker said: "When you consider added costs such as match tickets and sustenance it becomes clear that the cost of being a true football fan can be considerable." The league table of a season's typical away costs for Premiership fans put Middlesbrough fans in second place, travelling an average 7,142 miles and paying pounds 805.87 for petrol, pounds 999.90 for rail travel or pounds 302 in coach fares.

Next come:

Norwich (6,986 miles, pounds 788.27, pounds 946.10, pounds 264)

Portsmouth (6,710 miles, pounds 757.13, pounds 979.60, pounds 470).

Southampton (6,406 miles, pounds 722.83, pounds 1,015.60, pounds 458).

Blackburn Rrs (5,808 miles, pounds 655.35, pounds 820.20, pounds 265).

Everton (5,652 miles, pounds 637.75, pounds 756.30, pounds 290).

Liverpool (5,652 miles, pounds 637.75, pounds 756.30, pounds 264).

Charlton Ath (5,512 miles, pounds 621.95, pounds 671.20, pounds 235).

Bolton Wders (5,500 miles, pounds 620.60, pounds 748.10, pounds 262).

Fulham (5,486 miles, pounds 619.02, pounds 736.20, pounds 305).

Crystal Plce (5,354 miles, pounds 604.12, pounds 736.20, pounds 290).

Man Utd (5,198 miles, pounds 586.52, pounds 706.50, pounds 269).
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 24, 2004
Words:413
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