Where would we have been without Coates?
Peter Coates and his family have pumped in over £50m since he regained control of the club in the summer of 2006 but it seems we owe all that to Tony Pulis accepting his old job back.
It's widely acknowledged that our former Icelandic owners left the club in dire financial straights when their interest started to wane after their abortive attempts to populate English football with their fellow countrymen. They'd sacked Tony Pulis for refusing to play Icelandic players and installed Johan Boskamp who promised us 'sexy football' but is best remembered for the infamous RudgeGate affair after which he refused to talk to either his assistant manager or the Director of Football for almost half a season.
When they finally departed leaving us with millions of pounds of debt we were in the nether reaches of the Championship and the banks were starting to encircle us. Although most fans were hardly warm to the idea of the former chairman (now backed by the riches of Bet365) regaining control of the club, we did understand the potential crisis that could overcome us should the banks start demanding that debts must be repaid.
The Sentinel have published an interview (Click Here) with Peter's son and daughter who have revealed that the Coates' investment was totally dependant on the family persuading Tony Pulis to return to the club from which he'd been sacked just 12 months earlier. It's amazing to think now that many fans didn't want either man back in charge of the Potters but just where would we be now without that vital investment and Tony leading the team on the field?
I know we can go on (and on and on) about TP's style of football but you would not find any fans who would turn the clock back to the end of the 2005/6 season and choose a different path than the one which has now taken us to our fourth season in the Premier League and our first ever FA Cup Final.
This is, without doubt, the best time to be a Potters' supporter since the faded glory days of the early 1970's - success next weekend could take us to an even higher level than that.