London - Manager Tony Pulis has left Stoke after seven years in charge, the Premier League club announced late Tuesday.
departure, by mutual consent, was widely anticipated following his
talks earlier in the day with Stoke chairman Peter Coates.
City and Tony Pulis confirm that they have mutually agreed that Tony
will leave the club with immediate effect," the Potters confirmed in a
Pulis, who following the retirement of Alex Ferguson
and David Moyes' move into the Manchester United hotseat was the
second-longest serving manager in the country, leaves Stoke in a far
better position than he found them.
The 55-year-old was appointed
Stoke boss for a second spell in 2006, and under his watch the club
gained promotion to the Premier League in 2008 after a 23 year absence.
led Stoke to their first FA Cup final, losing to Manchester City by a
single goal in 2011, and as a result their first Europa League campaign.
Welshman moves on 48 hours after the end of the 2012/13 season with
Stoke finishing in 13th place.Contenders to succeed him in the Stoke
dugout are Roberto Di Matteo, Gus Poyet, and early bookmakers favourite
Rafael Benitez, the outgoing Chelsea interim manager.
The news was
greeted with surprise by Stoke winger Matt Etherington who said: "I've
spoken to a few of the other boys and they're shocked as well, it's hit
us," he said.
"Fans were grumbling saying they wanted him out or wanted a change but it looks like they have got their wish.
have to be careful what you wish for in football sometimes. You look at
Charlton under Alan Curbishley and look where they are now.
"Hopefully it won't go that way for us, hopefully we'll get someone in who will push us on and make us into a top-10 team.
you look at where Stoke were when he first came in - mid-table in the
Championship - you can't argue he's done a fantastic job."