Stoke City manager Tony Pulis avoids driving ban for speeding at 96mph
SPEEDING Stoke boss Tony Pulis has escaped a driving ban – despite having 15 points on his licence.
Pulis was clocked driving his BMW 530DM at 96mph within a 60mph-stretch of the M42 motorway hours after Stoke had been thumped 5-0 at Bolton last November.
But Pulis has escaped a ban after his lawyer argued it would have caused the manager, Stoke City and the people of Stoke-on-Trent exceptional hardship.
And Pulis warned he could not hire a chauffeur because his confidential phone conversations could be leaked and potentially scupper major transfer deals.
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Now Pulis, who admitted speeding on November 6, has seven days to pay his £2,500 fine and £85 costs.
Leamington Magistrates' Court heard Pulis was handed six penalty points for the latest offence, on top of his existing nine points.
Pulis told the court that he sometimes works from 7am to midnight, lives in Bournemouth, drives 62,000-miles-a-year and watches up to three football matches every week.
Pulis told 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 also warned a driving ban could affect his charity work, including fund-raising for the Donna Louise Children's Hospice Trust, at Trentham Lakes.
Pulis's lawyer, Mike Stephenson, told magistrates that the manager's close relationship with the Coates's family had been key to Stoke's success.
He 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."
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