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Mar, 22, 2012

Pulis escapes driving ban

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has escaped a driving ban after his lawyer argued that such a punishment could result in the club's relegation.

Pulis was caught doing 96mph in his BMW in a 60mph zone on the M42 following Stoke's 5-0 loss against Bolton in November. This offence would have seen Pulis' licence exceed 12 points, resulting in the Welshman being banned from driving.

However, Pulis' lawyer argued that such a ban could have an adverse effect on those affiliated both with the club and the city. Mike Stephenson, told magistrates "There are numerous phone calls every day between Mr Pulis and the chairman which are totally confidential.

"That has contributed to the success of the football club. As a result of being in the Premier League it has put Stoke-on-Trent on the map. It has led to numerous businesses being set up. A number of them are totally reliant on Stoke City, and those businesses would suffer if they were relegated. The people of Stoke-on-Trent could suffer if Mr Pulis lost his licence and lost his job."

Allowing Pulis to keep his licence, magistrate Donnie Clarke told him: "You will not be able to use this defence again in any other proceedings in the next three years."

The Sentinel quotes Pulis as telling magistrates: "I'm in control of over 100 employees. I deal directly with the chairman and his son; it's very unique in that respect.

"They're concerned about the circus of media which follows football clubs. A lot of the success of the club is because a lot of deals have been kept within the football club until we have to disclose them. We try to keep it that way."

Asked why he could not employ a chauffeur, Pulis responded: "We signed Peter Crouch in the summer without anyone knowing. That took almost four days of non-stop conversations between us and Tottenham; and Peter and the like.

"If other clubs had found out, they would have been attracted and might have signed him before us. I have my staff who I trust implicitly, but there are things I wouldn't even discuss with them."

Pulis, who admitted speeding on November 6, has seven days to pay his £2,500 fine and £85 costs.

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