Premier League clubs praised for climate progress but league criticised

Earlier this year the Premier League issued a ‘sustainability commitment’, external to be a minimum standard for clubs, after “extensive consultation” between clubs and the league’s sustainability working group.

It puts the emphasis on clubs to develop “robust” policies and a greenhouse gas dataset, and help with a “common framework for action”.

But the Premier League as an organisation has been criticised for not publishing a sustainability strategy in two and a half years, hosting a 2023 pre-season Summer Series in the United States involving six teams, and not addressing the use of domestic flights by clubs.

Wycombe Wanderers midfielder David Wheeler, who speaks for the Professional Footballers Association on sustainability, told BBC Sport: “Two and a half years to wait on a sustainability strategy is dragging your feet, to say the least.

“The lack of moral leadership seems to be a common thread among the top people in the different organisations in football, be that Fifa or now, it seems, the Premier League.

“There are lots sustainability professionals behind the scenes in sport doing incredible work, but the CEOs and board members seem to be getting in the way of making positive change.”

Wheeler called for a cap on domestic flights and said the league was “condoning” pre-season tours, creating “colossal amounts of emissions”, adding that football’s expanding calendar was damaging players and the environment.

“You can’t have infinite growth on a finite planet,” he said.

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