Away games a bit expensive? Don’t worry, Stoke City has you covered


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.

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.


Belize, tonight’s Gold Cup opponent for the US, needs your money


If you liked Tahiti in last month’s Confederations Cup, you’re going to love Belize in the 2013 Gold Cup.

This tiny nation, with a population of a little more than 300,000, didn’t even have its own national soccer team until 1995, and has long been considered the weakest team in Central America. But this year, Belize shocked the world — well, this corner of it anyway — by placing fourth in the Copa Centroamericana. This surprise finish meant Belize qualified for their first ever Gold Cup.

There was just one problem: Belize didn’t have the money to fund all the travel costs. The team organized a telethon, and local communities even hosted BBQ fundraisers. But as our own Leander Schaerlaeckens wrote in his match preview, the Gold Cup “Cinderella,” just mere hours before their first game against the United States, still doesn’t have all the funds to get from Portland, OR to their next matches in Salt Lake City, UT and East Hartford, CT.

You can do your part to make sure this tournament’s “Tahiti” doesn’t go bankrupt trying to get to all their matches during the Gold Cup: Belize is still asking for donations on their website.

Posted by: Thomas Hautmann


Soccer players’ pay spirals

At least one profession is recession-proof: English soccer players’ wages have gone up an astonishing 1500% over the past twenty years according to a new study. Those wages have come at a cost: ticket prices to see games in England have increased by almost 1000%.

But for the very elite, club wages are no longer where they make the real money. David Beckham’s sponsorship deals bring him in excess of $17m a year alone, dwarfing the $4million a year he gets in wages from the Galaxy.

What do you think of the big pay packets soccer players take home? How do you think it affects the game? Let us know in the comments below.