Stoke City’s CEO, Tony Scholes

In 2015, EY also produced a report which found the Premier League and its member clubs made a contribution of £3.4bn to GDP and supported over 100,000 jobs nationally during the 2013/14 season.


For Stoke City, promotion to the Premier League provided a vital boost to the area which would suffer badly during the global economic crash of 2008. In their first year, the club’s revenues grew by around 480% and enabled them to further invest in supporting local supply chains, club infrastructure spending and expand its community work.


Of this investment, a focus on expansion into the community had been a particularly pleasing element of the club’s tenure in the Premier League with the Stoke City Community Trust (SCCT) seeing considerable growth and spending £1.3m on a broad range of programmes across the region. But significantly, the report also found that there was an £11.50 return on every pound spent.


“For every pound we spend in the local community there’s an £11.50 return and I think that is the number that makes people stop and think,” enthused Tony. “Knowing that when we run a project, we run it well, shows great commitment and that you’re going to get an £11.50 payback on that will make people think about us.”


In 2015/16, SCCT, which is self-funded and financially independent of the club, attracted 10,900 participants to it community projects with 256 people delivering over 10,200 volunteering hours. Significantly, the report showed that over £14m of benefit was derived from its programmes with 81% (£11.6m) resulting from physical and mental health benefits alone.


“The work we do in the community is fundamental to who we are as a club,” Tony added. “Everybody who works here is very proud of what we’ve done out there. It’s not something that is going to come and go, it’s just who we are, it’s what we do.


“There’s a business angle to it, of course. Things like the schools visits and the pricing for younger people, that’s about ensuring we fill this stadium week in week out for many years to come. But there’s also a big element about doing the right thing and being a responsible community partner.”


That business angle is a fundamental part of the economic assessment and the impact a decade in the Premier League has had on the club and wider Staffordshire area’s businesses makes for impressive reading.