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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Peter Coates

Birthplace

Goldenhill, Stoke-on-Trent

Position

Chairman

Pen Pic

Peter Coates is a very successful businessman from Goldenhill in Stoke-on-Trent, owning both Bet365 and Stoke City Football Club. He has been listed as the 25th richest person in British football, or as I`d like to call; someone with a lot of money.

He was the youngest of 14 children in a working-class family, with his father working in the mines. He became the majority shareholder of Stoke City FC in 1989 and was chairman until 1997. Two years later he sold his shares for 3.5 million to a consortium of Icelandic businessmen.

Just like the failures of banks in their home country, the Icelanders messed up the clubs finances. Now they had their fun of owning a football club, and realising that they were plonkers, they wanted out. So, with Bet365 thriving, Peter bought the club back in May 2006 paying 1.7 million, with a further 3.3 million to cancel out debt.

He reappointed Tony Pulis for his second stint at the Club which, at the time, wasn`t the most popular decision. But as with Bet365, Coats` move for Pulis proved to be a successful one.

Now that Stoke are thriving, both in the league and financially, Potters fans are beginning to ask the question: 'When can we fill in the corners at The Britannia Stadium?` Stoke`s ground is one of the coldest grounds in the world and has been described as a 'wind tunnel` by some. Fans reckon that not only will filling in the corners generate more ticket sales, but would also block out the annoyingly bitter wind.

But while some fans chap their lips in the cold, Peter Coates bites his lip about the potential corner filling investment. He said that the justification of such extensions being that 'it`ll make the ground warmer` was ridiculous, especially as he says he doesn`t feel the cold himself!

Well I don`t know what kind of hot chillies he`s been having in his pre-match sandwiches, but we certainly feel the cold, even when dressing in more layers than an onion! It just proves that not only is Peter a business genius, he is also super human. Perhaps his skin possesses the same genetics found in average day-to-day cans of De-Icer? Who knows, but as someone once said: "Coates by name, coats by nature".

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