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The Potters are undertaking an initiative to take advantage of the increased TV revenue to supplement transport for supporters while again freezing ticket prices for a fifth year

Stoke have launched an initiative that will see the club offer free coach travel to home supporters for all 19 Premier League away games next season.

As revealed by Goal back in January, discussions took place between all 20 top-flight clubs, led by Potters chief executive Tony Scholes, as they looked to introduce a scheme across the division.

And following the proposals, Stoke have again led the charge, revealing that the increase in TV revenue played a role in the decision.

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"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," Scholes said in a statement.

"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.

"However, 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."

And official supporters club representative Bryan Shaw expressed his delight with the club's announcement.

"I think the away following will start to increase, as a lot of people have found out in the past it's an expensive day out to go and watch your team away from home," Shaw told OMNISPORT. What with the coach fare, your ticket, food and drink, it's an expensive day out and this will go some way towards helping people to afford an away trip."

Details of the incentive were met with approval after being put to Stoke's Fans Council last week, further strengthening the link between Stoke and its followers.

"We were called to a meeting last week and the club proposed away travel on official coaches was free for the season," Shaw continued. "It came as a pleasant surprise, it will affect an awful lot of Stoke supporters and make it affordable to families.

"I think the club realise what a difference the fans make on matchdays wherever they go, although in the last few season the away support has dropped we are a very vocal crowd. And the club realise they need the crowd as much as the crowd need the football club."

And Shaw hopes that other club's will follow Stoke's lead and begin to introduce more incentives to support fans attending matches.

"A lot of other club's can learn from this," he stated. "[The clubs] pay these higher transfer fees and wages [for players], and they should start to think about those people who don't earn anywhere near that kind of money, that dig in their pockets to go home and away."

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