Tony Pulis thanks Stoke City fans for a ‘wonderful adventure’
Tony Pulis thanks Stoke City fans for a "wonderful adventure" after his seven-year tenure at the club came to an end this week
Tony Pulis has thanked Stoke City’s supporters for a “wonderful adventure” and insisted he is proud of his achievements at the club after his departure from the Britannia Stadium on Tuesday.
The 55-year-old left the club by mutual consent and on “amicable terms” following talks with chairman Peter Coates, just days after Stoke finished 13th in the Premier League.
Pulis, who guided Stoke into the top flight in 2008, released a statement on Wednesday via the League Managers Association in which he paid tribute to Potters fans and reflected on his achievements during his second stint in charge of the club.
It read: “I have enjoyed some wonderful times at Stoke City and nobody was prouder than me when, after 23 years of exile from top-flight football we gained Premier League status.
“Of course, having reached the top you then have to find a way to stay there and develop a strategy for a club that had no infrastructure in place to compete with the top Championship clubs we had left behind, never mind the top Premier League clubs.
“Over the past five years we have created history by being the only team in this club’s 150 years existence to remain out of the bottom six in top-flight football for five consecutive seasons.
“Within our five-year period in the Premier League we have featured in four major cup quarter finals, an FA Cup semi-final and final.
“Further, we have encountered, progressed and reached the later stages of a major European cup competition, only to lose out to Spanish giants Valencia.
“During this great run of success on the pitch the club has also been involved in the building and development of a training ground that now compares to any in the Premier League.
“Also, the Britannia Stadium has been revamped and now hosts and looks after virtually full-houses of the club’s great supporters every other week.
“Peter [Coates], his family and I have enjoyed every inch of the journey – he has been truly a fantastic man to work with.
“Although I am disappointed, I do understand what he means when he says the board feels a need to take the club in a different direction. In leaving I am very proud of what we have all achieved.
“My immediate staff led by David Kemp, my backroom staff, and all the training ground staff have been absolutely wonderful.
“To the supporters who have rightly been congratulated for their outstanding support, especially at the Britannia, and finally to all the players who have worked under me during the seven year tenure, I give my thanks for what has been a wonderful adventure.”
Former Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes is the early favourite to take over from Pulis.