Bet365 gamble pays off for Potters
It's been revealed that Peter Coates and his family have pumped £40m into the club since he regained control from the Icelandics in 2006.
The club was said to be heading for administration in 2006 after the Icelandic consortium had lost all interest in the Potters and it was revealed that their backing for the club was only in the form of repayable loans rather than shares in the club. Who knows where we'd be now if we'd still been stuck with Gislason and his crew in the aftermath of Iceland's banking crisis last year?
Luckily the club's plight coincided with the soaring fortunes of the Coates family's internet betting operation - Bet365.com and they came in and bought them out for £5m (together with a further £2m which was paid on the club's success in the Premier League). All that seems small change now when compared with the amounts that the chairman has injected into the club to get us to the promised land - and to keep us there.
As well as spending on players, they've, so far, put up £6m to buy the Britannia Stadium outright and another £6m has been earmarked for the redevelopment of the Michelin training ground (now renamed Clayton Woods) which has just got underway.
TV income last season was £37m, but with the players' salaries now topping £20m per year alone, it seems that we'll be reliant on Bet365 cash for the foreseeable future with the chairman committing himself to helping the club progress with £50m spent on players during the last two years.
As recent events have demonstrated, it's probably a very good thing that we now have a chairman who is from the area and we can easily see where his money comes from rather than some faceless company such as they've ended up with at Notts County and Leeds United or the financial woes at the likes of Portsmouth.