Wenger defends 'absurd' flight to Norwich

Arsene Wenger has defended Arsenal's 15 minute flight to Norwich. Photo: PA

Manager Arsene Wenger maintains there was genuine cause for Arsenal travelling to Norwich by plane last weekend.

The Gunners opted to charter a private jet because of travel issues ahead of the 5:30pm kick off on Saturday, which meant the usual option of taking the train was not possible.

The flight, which would have taken around 15 minutes, has been criticised as "absurd" by Green campaigners.

Arsenal lost the Barclays Premier League match 1-0.

Wenger said at today's pre-match press conference ahead of the Champions League game against Schalke: "Usually we take the train and there was no train available, so in the end we decided to fly because we had to drive up on Friday afternoon at the moment when you never know how long it lasts."

The journey, however, was deemed an unnecessary extravagance by co-ordinator of the Norwich and Norfolk Friends of the Earth Jennifer Parkhouse.

She said in the Eastern Daily Press: "It is 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."

Arsenal, though, stand by the decision.

A spokesman for the Gunners 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."