Is Tony Pulis on the move?

Speculation is running rampant up whether Stoke City will retain manager Tony Pulis after this season.  Reports have recently surfaced that the club could lose their manager once the club has secured their place in the league for next season.   At present the team is 6 points ahead of Wigan for the last relegation spot.  Sunderland and Newcastle United are also 6 points ahead and Aston Villa only sits 3 points ahead of relegation.

The speculation over Pulis’ future is beginning to frustrate the 55-year-old manager.  When asked about reports, Pulis stated that “It’s just speculation. The thing with that is they have the right to write what they want and I have to accept that.  I had lunch with Peter and his brother-in-law on Tuesday and they never mentioned about whether I was leaving or not.”

Pulis has long had the support of Stoke City owner Peter Coates and there appears to be nothing coming from the owner about replacing his manager.  In fact, it has been said that the club’s chief executive Tony Scholes and Coates have both expressed confidence that their manager will be returning next year.

Stoke’s battle to avoid relegation is more than just a return to the EPL next year.  Relegation could cost the bet365 sponsored club a lot of money in the form of sponsorship and television deals.  For example, the chances of their bet365 deal being renewed would be unlikely.  Also, since they would lose any money tied to any EPL TV deals, the cash flow needed to get back up to the EPL would be severely hindered.

Stoke will not have an easy task ahead of them.  Their remaining matches include dates at Sunderland and Southampton as well as home games against Tottenham and Norwich City.  A single win may be enough to stave off relegation but a losing streak now could prove disastrous for the club’s hopes of returning to the Premier League next season.