“I think when Stoke came into the Barclays Premier League, they didn’t only have a football club, they had a region behind them. They were battered from pillar to post in terms of their style, and that helped them forge a strong club identity.
“Everyone got behind them and they made their home ground a real fortress. That helped them stay in the league initially, and now they have been able to build because the money allowed them to bring in some quality players.
“Very importantly, they have developed off the field in terms of their facilities and infrastructure. It’s a great blueprint for teams coming up.”
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