In a move sure to please their supporters, Premier League club Stoke City announced on Friday that they will offer free bus travel for any Stoke fan looking to attend away matches.
Stoke City will be offering supporters FREE coach travel to EVERY SCFC Premier League away game in the 2013/14 season. #StokeCity— Josh Whittaker-Vyse (@stokecity_joshw) July 19, 2013
While it’s often taking for granted, especially in light of the tens of millions of dollars spent on transfers by teams like Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, life as a soccer supporter can be an expensive hobby.
From the price of tickets, apparel and travel, the costs add up quickly, and can quickly place a burden on dedicated fans. Stoke City’s Chief Executive Tony Scholes explained the club’s decision:
"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 work hard to try and provide our supporters with value for money which is why we have not increased our ticket prices since being promoted to the Premier League in 2008.
While the income generated from new television and sponsorship deals often proves a boon to clubs around the world, new revenues don’t often trickle down to supporters. Let’s hope Stoke City kick off a trend with this move, to make soccer a matches accessible to everyone, regardless of income.