Stoke City – Potters’ plans to provide coaches to away games
During a week that revealed the team finishes bottom of the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League will earn more in prize and television money than the biggest earner from the 2012/13 Champions League (Juventus), Stoke City drew many headlines for making life easier on their supporters.
July 25th, 2013
One of the main criticisms levelled at the Premier League on a regular basis is the overall treatment of the fans. Despite the huge increases in advertising and television money generated by the league, the price of tickets to games has grown at terrifying rates; way beyond inflation or minimal interest to a point where a ticket for anything less than £50 is cheap. Cheap.
Stoke City announced this week that they will offer free travel to all 19 of their away games in the Premier League this season; starting with their opener on August 17th. While hardly revolutionary, the scheme is a positive one as it will help cheapen days away for their fans and should increase their away following in healthy numbers.
Chief executive Tony Scholes spelt it out when the decision was revealed. “As a club we are conscious that following football can be an expensive business, especially at a time when so many people are feeling the squeeze financially… We realise how expensive following the club away from home can be for supporters and we’re delighted to be able to offer free coach travel and hope it encourages more of them to give us their fantastic backing away from home.”
As mentioned, Stoke can hardly be accused of pushing the boat out, and yet their plan to lay on coaches has been heralded up and down the country. Finally, a Premier League club is putting some of its money to good use and, along the way, ensuring they sell a few extra tickets. Fans that previously spurned the chance to travel around the country are enticed by not having to worry about paying for petrol or organising a private coach. It’s basically a win-win for the club but it’s baffling that the Potters are the first to do it.
Hopefully, they aren’t the last.