What really does John Rudge do?
Stoke City's Director of Football, John Rudge is reported to be taking more of a back seat in future - but what does he do now?
Rudgie joined the Potters after leaving our local rivals, Port Vale where he was manager for nearly 15 years and was appointed the Potters' first Director of Football in 1999. Under the Icelanders he was responsible for seeking out new players and contract negotiations, but under the new Coates regime his role seems to have been largely taken over by Tony Pulis and Chief Executive, Tony Scholes.
Although he is not involved in front-line management, he was thrust into the limelight after the infamous 'piece of paper' fiasco when he came down from the stands with some written advice to the then manager, Johan Boskamp during a match at Coventry. This didn't go down well with Bossie and he issued an 'either he goes or I go' ultimatum, but the Board eventually soothed the irascible Dutchman by banishing Rudge to gardening leave. He was reinstated at the end of the season when Peter Coates took over and Boskamp left, but he never seems to have fully returned to the role he had before.
The Sentinel are now reporting that Rudgie is now likely to sign a new contract that will take him up to his 65th birthday in three years time, but that he is likely not to be working full-time in future. Whatever the extent of John Rudge's future role, he is unlikely to find himself totally out of a job at the Britannia as he is still held in high esteem by both the Chairman and manager, Tony Pulis.