Stoke Star Drags On The Saga!

Last updated : 20 March 2009 By Boro Mad

Stoke City's Michael Tonge has admitted he is one of the former Sheffield United players considering taking legal action over the Carlos Tevez affair.

The 25-year-old was relegated with United after Tevez helped West Ham stay up in 2007 - although it was later ruled that the Argentina international should not have been playing for the Hammers.

Stoke midfielder Tonge admits he is also ready to go to court.

"I'm just waiting to see what comes of it. I'm not taking it upon myself to make a claim, but might consider joining one.

"It's not something I'm thinking too much about at the moment. I'm sure things will start to be resolved over the next few weeks, so they may become clearer then.

"West Ham have admitted they have done something wrong and I think it should have been sorted out in that season.

"It wouldn't have been brought up as much if Carlos Tevez hadn't played such a prominent part in West Ham staying up.

"Maybe if he were a defender it wouldn't have been such a big deal, but he scored lots of goals, including the one at Manchester United on the last day that kept them up."

Whilst Tonge is looking at the Tevez situation, his main concern is trying to win a place back in Stoke's first team.

"Not playing is frustrating, but the most important thing is that this club stays in the Premier League. Then, we can take things from there," he said.

STOKE CITY - Britannia Stadium

Directions & Car Parking

Stoke City Homes
Leave the M6 at Junction 15 and then go straight across the roundabout onto the A500 towards Stoke. Continue along the A500 passing over the junction with the A34. Leave the A500 at the next slip road following signs for the A50 towards Derby. Turn right at the next roundabout and then move into the left hand lane and then onto the slip road. You can see the stadium over on your right. Turn right at the top of the slip road and then right at the next roundabout for the stadium. The Britannia is quite well signposted. Car parking at the stadium costs £5.
Matt Goldstraw adds; 'If you have a ticket for the official south car park, then after going onto the A500 towards Stoke from junction 15 of the M6, leave the A500 at the first junction and turn right at the large roundabout and onto the A34 towards Stafford. Go past a red petrol station and the Staffordshire Knot pub and after about a mile you will reach a small roundabout that on the right has the entrance to Trentham Awakes (previously known as Trentham Gardens). Turn left at the island and then continue straight up this road for about three miles. You will pass a golf club, a Toby Carvery, go over a railway bridge, over the canal and past an Esso garage. Then at a set of traffic lights where there is an obvious industrial estate to the right, turn left on to Stanley Matthews Way for the stadium'.
Alternatively there are still some parking spaces at various commercial sites between the old Michelin Car park and the site of the old Victoria Ground. Bear in mind though that if you do park in this area then allow a good 20 minutes to walk (mostly uphill) to the stadium. If you are intending parking in this area then from Junction 15 proceed along the A500, passing the junction with the A34. The stadium will appear over on the right and then leave the A500 at the next junction and turn left to go down to this area.
Andy Fenwick adds; 'Don't be tempted to park on wasteland around the stadium, you may well end up as I did with a parking ticket waiting for you on your return'.

By train

Stoke City Homes
Stoke station is just under three miles from the stadium and really is too far to walk, so it is probably best to hire a taxi. Tim Rigby a visiting Wolves fan adds 'there are some shuttle buses than run from Glebe Street in Stoke up to the Britannia Stadium, which depart every 15 minutes before kick off. There are return buses after the game back to Glebe Street from behind the Sentinel (East) Stand'.
Björn Sandström adds; 'To catch this bus, turn right from the station and head down Station Road. At the bottom of Station Road at the traffic lights by the Roebuck Hotel, turn right to go along Leek Road (A52). Then go straight across the A500 dual carriageway and into Glebe Street which is straight across in front of you. You should then see the line of buses that will take you to the stadium. It is only about a five minute walk from the station'.
The shuttle bus costs for a return ticket £3 Adults, £2 Children and £1.50 OAP's.

Away Fans

Stoke City Homes
Away fans are housed on one side (towards the Players Tunnel and Main Stand) of the South Stand at one end of the ground, where around 2,800 supporters can be accommodated. This stand is shared with home fans on the other side. At first I was quite perturbed by a large sign advising fans that persistent standing would result in ejection from the ground, however the facilities and view of the action from this stand are good. The concourse is adequate and there is a large choice of refreshments available such as Wrights pies at £2 each, sausage rolls (£1.50), cheeseburgers (£2.40), rollover hot dogs (£2.60) and chips (£1.30). Alcohol is also available in the form of Carlsberg lager (bottles £3), Bitter (pint £2.50), Strongbow cider (can £2.50) and Smirnoff Ice (bottle £2.60).
The stadium is quite high up in an exposed position and the open corners can mean that a cold wind can whip through the stadium, so bear this in mind, especially in the winter months. I thought the inside of the stadium was quite disappointing being rather bland and lacking character, although I'm sure that this can be developed in time. Listen out though for the Stoke anthem 'Delilah' being sung by the home fans, they can still give a great rendition of that Tom Jones classic song.
On the whole though the Britannia Stadium, is not a great day out, as there are very few pubs close to the stadium and even fewer away friendly ones. It is also worth bearing mind though that the Stoke fans are passionate about their club and this can make for an intimidating atmosphere, so it is best to keep colours covered around the ground. Don't be surprised if you are kept in after the game, in a fenced off compound to the rear of the away stand. It is not an uncommon sight for a number of Stoke fans to congregate, generally trying to bait the away supporters, until the Police move them on.

Where To Drink

Stoke City Homes
There are a distinct lack of pubs near to the ground as it is built away from other buildings. Therefore I would recommend that you grab a drink on the way into Stoke. James Diamond informs me 'There is a Holiday Inn and Harvester Pub next to the ground. Car parking in the Harvester car park costs £3'. Also close to the stadium is a Power League complex that also has a bar, which also allows in away fans, shows SKY television and you can even park in their car park for £4.50. Otherwise alcohol is available at the back of the away end, but queues can be lengthy, especially if there is a big support.