Writer: Niall Cope
Date:Thursday October 25 2012
This week manager Tony Pulis revealed that he would be content to see out his club managerial career with the Potters and hopes that the Coates family continue to be a mainstay during that time.
The Welshman may well have been heavily backed by the money from betting giant Bet365 over the last few seasons, but he has put it to good use and achieved remarkable success during his tenure.
Although the 54-year-old may never be liked by some because of his approach, it cannot be disputed what he has done, not only for the football club, but for the city of Stoke-on-Trent.
During his nine year association with the club, Pulis has helped to lift the club out of the Football League and into the Premier League. Not only that, but he`s maintained the club`s top-flight status and taken us to our first FA Cup Final and foray into European competition since the 1970s.
The club`s success has united the city with the Britannia Stadium regularly full to capacity, while local pub landlords will have seen their profits shoot through the roof as they screen live Stoke matches through foreign channels.
Pulis is a manager not to get carried away and has regularly reminded supporters not to expect too much, too soon as the club strives to move forward. With Stoke being away from the top-flight for so long it makes it doubly difficult to bridge the gap than would have been the case during the 70s. The missed revenue streams that the Premier League has provided to clubs over the past 20 years mean that, despite the wealth of the Coates family, the club is still behind.
For too long, supporters of my generation have had to suffer the dark days of away trips to dingy old grounds stuck in the lower reaches of the Football League. Now, along with more senior fans, I am witnessing the rise of a club steeped in history and building to once again become a real force. And while some will always want instant success, time is needed to enable Pulis and the Coates family to build a lasting legacy that can help further propel us into footballing dreamland.
Many have argued down the years where Tony Pulis should be ranked as City`s all-time manager and whilst I may not have been around to witness the eras set by Waddington and Macari, the one being set by Tony Pulis isn`t half bad!
Date:Thursday October 25 2012
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