29 AUGUST 2016
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The new Premier League season is under way, but increasingly-ambitious and ever-more-complicated pre-season preparations mean European football’s top teams have been turning to private aircraft charters as they showcase their clubs to global audiences.
Matthew Purton, group commercial jets director at aviation specialist Air Charter Service, says: “With pre-season tours now as much about publicity in new markets and creating a global brand, as playing football in readiness for the new season, clubs are looking to travel further afield.
“For example, pre-season friendlies for English teams matches used to be against other UK sides or maybe against teams in the Netherlands, Belgium or France, but now many of them take place on different continents.”
Purton said chartering an aircraft meant managers could choose departure times to fit a team’s schedule and allow maximum recovery times for the players. On-board catering could also be ordered to accommodate players’ special diets.
Chartering an aircraft was also becoming increasingly popular during the regular season as clubs realised the benefits over traditional coach journeys, he added.
“Some Premier League teams have already booked aircraft for their away fixtures as late as next May. The old ‘team bus’ is now often the ‘team plane’.”
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