Brexit may have cast doubt on the future of UK trade, but there’s at least one British export showing no signs of shrinking this summer: Premier League football.
Just this month alone teams will be jetting on pre-season tours to China, America, Australia and Scandinavia where thousands of eager fans are waiting to lap up a sighting of their favourite players.
In total, Premier League clubs will cover 171,444 miles this summer, reaching 11 different countries, as clubs trade prime pre-season preparation for overseas brand building.
The USA is the most popular destination for the third consecutive pre-season with 14 teams — double last year’s total — trying to break America.
Only two teams — Watford and Middlesbrough — are staying put in England for the summer.
Tottenham Hotspur’s players will endure the longest travel distances during pre-season, with Mauricio Pochettino’s men covering over 6,000 miles more than any other Premier League team.
Spurs may have just three first-team friendlies scheduled ahead of the new season yet a round trip to Australia, where Pochettino will play Juventus and Atletico Madrid in Melbourne, will see the team clock up 21,000 miles.
Following Spurs are Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, who will cover 14,855 miles on a pre-season tour that visits Germany, China and Sweden across four games.
Chelsea and Manchester United are the next two biggest travellers with a respective 14,450 and 14,300 miles clocked up over five pre-season games each.
Mourinho will warm up his new United squad in China and Sweden while Antonio Conte’s tactical tuition of his new team begins in Austria and the USA.
Arsenal’s pre-season games in France, America and Scandinavia cover 13,969 miles while fellow Londoners West Ham and Crystal Palace — both of whom are also travelling to the USA — cover 12,588 and 10,963 miles respectively.
Premier League champions Leicester, who have been invited to compete alongside Europe’s biggest clubs in the International Champions Cup (the ICC) pre-season tournament this summer, play Scottish champions Celtic in Glasgow, French champions Paris Saint-Germain in Los Angeles and Spanish champions Barcelona in Gothenburg, before meeting FA Cup winners Manchester United in the Community Shield.
The ICC, which is also hosting Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City games this summer, has demonstrated the commercial potential of pre-season tours to clubs by drawing huge crowds — including a record American attendance of 109,000 for Real Madrid against United in 2014 to their games.
“The ICC is a great opportunity to compete with some of Europe’s leading clubs and to further promote the Club, and the city of Leicester, around the world," said Leicester chief executive Susan Whelan when it was announced the Foxes had been invited into the competition.
|Club||Distance travelled||No. of official pre-season games||Longest trip|
|Tottenham Hotspur||21,161 miles||3||10,507 miles (London to Melbourne)|
|Manchester City||14,855 miles||4||5,962 miles (Shenzhen to Manchester)|
|Chelsea||14,451 miles||5||5,428 miles (London to Pasadena)|
|Manchester United||12,298 miles||6||5,684 miles (Manchester to Shanghai)|
|Arsenal||13,968 miles||5||5,437 miles (Los Angeles to London)|
|Liverpool||13,367 miles||9||5,252 miles (Liverpool to Pasadena)|
|Leicester City||12,723 miles||5||5,515 miles (Los Angeles to Stockholm)|
|West Ham United||12,588 miles||6||7,785 miles (London to Seattle)|
|Crystal Palace||10,963 miles||8||4,710 miles (Vancouver to London)|
|Stoke City||10,198 miles||4||4,225 miles (Orlando to Stoke)|
|Swansea||8,394 miles||6||3, 879 miles (Swansea to Charlotte)|
|Bournemouth||8,210 miles||5||3,977 miles (Bournemouth to Minnesota)|
|Sunderland||4,124 miles||6||966 miles (Sunderland to Altach)|
|West Brom||3,379 miles||6||986 miles (West Brom to Schladming)|
|Hull City||2,618 miles||8||950 miles (Hull to Kufstein)|
|Burnley||2,272 miles||5||812 miles (Burnley to Colovray)|
|Everton||2,036 miles||6||724 miles (Liverpool to Dresden)|
|Southampton||1,066 miles||4||496 miles (Groningen to Southampton)|
|Middlesbrough||610 miles||4||175 miles (Middlesbrough to Birmingham)|
|Watford||158 miles||3||33 miles (Watford to Woking)|