Top-flight English soccer side Stoke City have launched a new strategic partnership with second-tier German outfit FC St Pauli.
The deal will see the two clubs liaise with regards to player and coach development and share best practice and business expertise. Additionally, both parties will collaborate on a variety of marketing, merchandising and media campaigns.
The partnership will kick off when the two teams meet in a pre-season friendly on 1st August at St Pauli’s Millerntor Stadion in Hamburg. The agreement is the first of its kind between a Premier League side and a German club.
Tony Scholes, Stoke City’s chief executive, said: “We are always looking at new ways to develop, both in the technical programme in terms of player and coach development and player recruitment and also in off-the-field matters, by looking to share knowledge and expertise with our peers wherever possible. We believe our partnership with St Pauli will allow us to do both.
“Like us, St Pauli are embedded in their local community and there will be things that, inevitably, both clubs do very similarly. However, St Pauli have a different approach to the business of football that has earned them a cult following around the world and we’re keen to tap into their knowledge as much as they are keen to tap into ours.”
St Pauli chairman Andreas Rettig added: “We are proud to say that for first time ever an English Premier League club is willing to cooperate with a German club. In many meetings we got the impression that both clubs fit together in many ways.
“We hope that we have advantages in the future as we benefit from the worldwide scouting of Stoke City FC, but also in learning from each other, teaching our coaches, and learning from the work in the academies.”
Stoke City came 13th in the Premier League in 2016/17, while St Pauli achieved a seventh-place finish in the 2. Bundesliga.