Friday, July 19, 2013

A great gesture, but still have to watch a team managed by Mark Hughes

Stoke City offering free travel to away games

Coach travel to watch a really unattractive team may not be as good as it sounds

Now to say I am not a fan of Stoke City is an understatement. I just don't think they have played any proper football during the Tony Pulis years. Yes they've had some good results, beat some very good teams and scored some great goals - Peter Crouch's volley against Man City stands out. They hoof it, punt it, launch it forward, even hurling it in from throw-ins. It's about as attractive as Silvio Berlusconi in a thong - unless you're into that (and seems like some people are).

But today they turned me into a fan. Not of how they play, not of Rory Delap's long throws or Kenwyne Jones' backflips (although I do like those), but because they offered free travel to every away game next season. 

Here's the news on Sky Sports, but it has been widely reported.

It may be a publicity stunt. It may be due to the fact even Stoke fans don't want to watch a team managed by Mark Hughes. It may be the face they only won 2 of their 19 away games in the Premier League last year (scoring just 13 goals, the second worst in the league behind West Ham with 11). 

Football is not cheap. I could reminisce about paying GBP3.50 (no pound sign on my keyboard!!) to watch my first game, but I won't. Any help getting real fans to games home or away is appreciated. Watching a game on TV is nothing like watching it live. So fair play to Stoke, now their fans just have to remember it's free travel to watch Stoke - maybe it's not worth it after all.