Tony Pulis sacked as Stoke City manager

Tony Pulis’s seven-year spell as manager of Stoke City is over following his meeting today with chairman Peter Coates.

Pulis met with Coates for an end-of-season debrief and his departure will be confirmed by the club later this afternoon.

The 55 year-old’s future has been shrouded in uncertainty for months after a difficult 2013, with Coates – a long-time ally in the boardroom – refusing to discuss his future while the club battled to avoid relegation.

Pulis was persuaded to return by Coates in 2006 and in his second season guided Stoke to the Premier League. He then led them to an FA Cup Final and the last 32 of the Europa League, while ensuring his proud record of never being relegated as a manager remained intact.

But his style of football and tactics have been constantly criticised and this season a growing number of supporters turned against the Welshman.

Last week an investigation was launched after a pig’s head was discovered in Kenwyne Jones’s locker, heaping more scrutiny on Pulis.

The meeting with Coates was always scheduled for the end of the season and Pulis had been keen to discuss the summer budget, player recruitment policy and possible additions to his backroom staff.

All the signs were that substantial changes and a shift in direction were expected, with long-serving director of football John Rudge leaving at the end of the season, but Pulis’s reign has ended after a short meeting.

Phil Neville, the former Everton defender, has been linked with a move to Stoke as first-team coach but could now be in the frame as manager. Gus Poyet, Steve Bould and Neil Lennon have also been mentioned as possible replacements for Pulis.

by @prolixir.