The Oxonian looks at the trips Oxford United will make next season

So I am going to rely on Mr Pedant to pile into the comments below and apply actual mathematics to the following article. Who do you think I am, Johnny Ball?

This weekend, Leeds and Southampton will compete for the right to play Oxford United next season. One of them will have to put up with playing lesser Uniteds such as Manchester or Newcastle. The real winners, or ‘losers’ as they will be cruelly labelled elsewhere, will be travelling to the Kassam Stadium. The difference, apart from financial, is 96 miles.

This sort of thing used to bother Oxford United fans. Because they had been in League One for so long, they would often discuss the difference that promotions and relegation elsewhere would mean to their travel arrangements. So I have done the maths for you.

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Next season, if Leeds are in the division, then Oxford United fans will travel just shy of 6,000 miles. The longest journey is Sunderland (255 miles one way), the shortest is basically a tie between QPR and Watford at just shy of 50 miles. There are a couple of short trips like Luton (63) and Derby (56) but also a couple of round trips that even The Proclaimers might consider too many miles: Plymouth and Blackburn.

Meanwhile, across the city, Oxford City discovered last week that they will play in the National League North next season. ‘Oooh, poor City, all those long journeys’ people said and so I added it all up. In actual fact, over the course of the season City will travel just 600 miles further than United (6,572 compared to 5,962). Trips to South Shields and Spennymoor look daunting but there are jaunts to Brackley and Leamington as well, so the mileage doesn’t end up all that different.

However, it’s a different world for City who will have the extra expense of overnight stays at places like Darlington and Chester, and of course have to think carefully about recruiting players next season. Signing someone who lives in Southampton for example may not be a sensible option.

The real difference may not be distance though. In adding all those numbers up, I actually had to look on a map for where Curzon Ashton and Needham Market are. Did you know?

Well what an adventure the Hoops will be on, just as the U’s set out on a bright shiny new adventure of their own.

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