Stoke City: Michael Owen and Tony Pulis slam salary reports
MICHAEL Owen and Tony Pulis have laid into reports that the injury-hit striker is currently costing Stoke City the equivalent of £7,000 for every minute he's on the pitch.
Both deny that Owen, who has only played 53 minutes of normal time for Stoke, is earning anything like the basic salary of £25,000-a-week which has been rumoured since joining at the end of August.
Owen launched a furious attack on the national press after waking up to the reports on his 33rd birthday.
He said: "Another shocking article. Shouldn't be surprised, but you would think they would at least get their facts right before feeding such rubbish to the public.
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"My wage is heavily incentivised towards playing, so contrary to all of the rubbish that is said and written about me, my wage is nothing like what is being reported.
"How they can make up figures and then write an article painting me in a negative way is shocking. No doubt our endearing press will get away with it and then move on to discredit somebody else," he added on his Twitter account.
Pulis, pictured below, said: "Those figures are massively wrong and it's completely out of order to write them.
"Michael is here almost on a pay-as-you-play basis, just like Jonathan Woodgate last season.
"We are trying to get Michael fully fit and remain hopeful he will play a part for us this season."
Owen misses out against boyhood club Everton at the Britannia Stadium today (3pm), , but Charlie Adam is expected to return from his ban and face a chorus of abuse from visiting fans because of his Liverpool connections.
But Pulis believes Stoke's midfield ace will be inspired and not intimidated if he is targeted by the boo boys.
"If he plays, I think he will enjoy that challenge from the Everton fans," said Pulis.
"He's been good around the place and a really bubbly lad.
"I think he's still getting used to the fact it's a team and he's an individual with great ability.
"But the lads like him and he's settling in really well here at Stoke.
"Charlie will be fine and I still believe he can get into double figures for us this season."
Meanwhile, Pulis has welcomed this week's appointment of Mark Cartwright to spearhead Stoke's recruitment of players at home and abroad.
Cartwright, a football agent who was a goalkeeper for several league clubs and once managed Leek Town, is leaving his job with Potteries-based Beswicks Solicitors to join the club full-time.
"I have got to know Mark in recent times and he strikes me as a real grafter who can be a great asset for us," said Pulis.
"We will meet shortly to iron out exactly what his task will be, but it's obvious that recruitment is becoming more and more important because as a Premier League club we are now looking in an ever smaller pool of talent.
"Mark will be doing his best to make sure we try to get to that talent before anyone else."
STOKE have drawn Huddersfield at home in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup on a date to be arranged.