SAMBA DEAL WAS MAD­NESS Pulis still call­ing Pot­ters shots

Midweek Sport - - SPORTS - By BREN­DAN MCLOUGH­LIN

TONY PULIS will still have the fi­nal say on Stoke’s trans­fer pol­icy – de­spite owner Peter Coates ad­mit­ting he “never liked” their £10mil­lion club record move for Peter Crouch.

Chair­man Coates claimed last week­end he was not a fan of Pulis’ plan to land the bean­pole striker (left) from Spurs 18 months ago, but was still happy to back his man­ager’s judge­ment. He said: “Some­times you do things for dif­fer­ent rea­sons.

“Really, I never liked that deal fi­nan­cially. But I did it to sup­port the man­ager, who was very keen.”

But the Pot­ters chair­man played down the con­tro­ver­sial com­ments yes­ter­day.

He said: “I did ques­tion the deal fi­nan­cially be­cause it was a lot of money. If you buy a player at the lat­ter end of his ca­reer, it’s quite clearly more dif­fi­cult to get your money back.

“But the man­ager wanted him so I did it for the man­ager. At no time was it a crit­i­cism of the player.”

The owner in­sists Pulis, who has voiced his des­per­a­tion to keep the Pot­ters up to give the Coates fam­ily “the re­ward they de­serve,” will con­tinue to call the shots when it comes to trans­fers – un­like many of his man­age­rial coun­ter­parts.

Coates said: “No player will come into the club or go out of the club with­out his ap­proval first.

“That’s clear.

“He may be one of the few man­agers in the game to be in that priv­i­leged po­si­tion, I don’t know, but that is cer­tainly the sit­u­a­tion here.”

ab­so­lutely

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