Time To Improve As A Club
The recent news that Stoke will be spending £4.5 million on the football pitches, which include synthetic pitches for the first team to train on, and a new underground heating system for the Brit is great news. But the improvements to the club seem to be only on the football side of things.
It’s easy to say that the majority of Stoke fans want the corners of the stadium to be filled in, so that we can allow more fans to watch and to have a greater atmosphere, which as of late has been dropping off. If you take the recent win over Aston Villa, we were 2-0 up and yet the crowd was silent apart from the odd Delilah coming from small parts of the ground.
What about other improvements to the club? The club website which is full of bugs and uses the same template as clubs in League two, needs updating. There are many fans whose sole connection with the club is through online content. It’s strange that we don’t have a smarter website. Bet 365, who obviously owns the club, are the worlds largest online betting website. One would have thought that the guys who built the Bet 365 website could also build a new Stoke website, it is only couple of minutes down the road. Fill it with YouTube videos, stats, and upload match day programme content (which Stoke has won many awards for)
If we were to fill in the corners, improvements around the ground need to be done. The fact that you can only pay cash for food and drink is crazy! You are just limiting the amount people spend. Cash is a dying art form, card payments have now overtaken cash, why aren’t Stoke capitalising on this opportunity? When we loose 3-0 to Everton being able to drown our sorrows when we have spent all our cash would be nice, if not necessary.
Stoke are in the top 30 of the richest clubs in the world. It’s easy to see that on the pitch with the signings of Shaqiri, Bojan and Imbula. But off the pitch we are still lagging behind other clubs around us in the table. Developing a stronger fan base that stretches outside of the Potteries does sound like selling out to the, half and half scarf owning, prawn sandwich eating Gerald Pratts of this world, but it shouldn’t be. If fans want Stoke to be better understood, rather than still being called a long ball team, the club needs to build a stronger fan interface.
Obviously what matters on the pitch is the most important, if you asked me what I wanted more, a 20 goals a season striker or contactless technology whilst buying my Wrights pie, I’m gonna say ‘when can I get his name on my shirt’. But if the club wants to become much more of an international presence they need to spend money on the club at a level fans see every day, not just 90 minutes on a Saturday.
By Dan Morris
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