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Arsenal defend decision to take a 14-minute flight to Norwich ahead of Carrow Road fixture. What do you think?

PUBLISHED: 11:46 23 October 2012 | UPDATED: 16:20 23 October 2012

Grant Holt wheels away after scoring the winning goal. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Grant Holt wheels away after scoring the winning goal. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222

If losing 1-0 to Norwich City on Saturday was not bad enough, Arsenal football club have now come under fire from green campaigners for taking a plane from Luton to Norwich.

The Gunners went down to a goal from Grant Holt in a surprise defeat at Carrow Road in the televised match on Saturday.

Afterwards, it emerged that the Arsenal team had flown to Norwich Airport from Luton Airport on Friday.

A spokesman for the club said the decision to fly was made based on the “temperamental” A11 and planned engineering work on the Norwich to London rail line. But the flight from Luton to Norwich only lasted 14 minutes, and green campaigners said the club had not considered the environmental impact it would cause.

Jennifer Parkhouse, co-ordinator of the Norwich and Norfolk Friends of the Earth, said: “It’s absolutely absurd. I cannot see any reason why they would have flown, other than it being a rather ostentatious display of the players’ and the club’s wealth. If the flight took 14 minutes, they must have spent more time just getting on and off the plane than in the air.”

An Arsenal club spokesman said there were no direct trains from London to Norwich at the weekend, and added the team regularly got trains to Manchester, Liverpool and other destinations while also making relatively short journeys easily accessible by motorway by coach.

A spokesman said: “The club considers all transport options available for the first team when travelling to an away fixture. Given the severe disruption to rail services at the weekend the most time efficient option was to fly, hence the first team made the journey by plane from London to Norwich.”

A spokesman for train operator Greater Anglia confirmed there was engineering work and bus replacements on Saturday.

Do you think Arsenal were right to travel by plane? Email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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