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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Stoke chairman hits back at critics

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A number of pundits this year have forecast a difficult season for Stoke City with Tony Cascarino of The Times forecasting that they will finish bottom of the Premier League.   These forecasts need a health warning as they are generally wide of the mark.

Stoke chairman Peter Coates has hit back at critics who say that the club does not spend enough on players.  He thinks that they spend 'plenty, too much.'   He also responds to those who say there is nowhere nice to live at Stoke, pointing out that it is within reach of the Cheshire villages favoured by elite footballers.

Coates commented, 'The media, managers, coaches and players know nothing about football finances. So you should start from that premise before you get the likes of Robbie Savage talking rubbish.'

This is fighting talk!  I did admire Savage's style when Charlton fans protested against a sending off by throwing catalogues put on their seats on to the pitch, he picked one up and leant on the goalpost reading it.

Coates denies that Stoke lack ambition.  In my view they are unlikely to be in a relegation struggle, but can they get above mid-table?

In any event it's all a long way from the days of Stanley Matthews.