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Stoke chairman Coates forced to intervene in locker room bust-up over Pulis

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has been forced to intervene in a dressing room clash.

The Daily Mail says the 75-year-old multi- millionaire, who has taken a back seat from day-to-day running of the club, stepped in after hearing of problems in the run-up to Sunday's 1-0 defeat by Norwich.

He confronted new manager Mark Hughes and the club's chief executive Tony Scholes and told them to issue the instructions to players and staff.

Captain Ryan Shawcross challenged Kenwyne Jones after the Trinidad and Tobago striker publicly attacked Tony Pulis and accused him of playing 'sky' football. The pair had a furious stand-up row, and other players joined in the argument, which then spilled over at the training ground for a couple of days.

One player said: "Ryan was waiting for Kenwyne when he came into training and said, 'You're brave, aren't you, didn't hear you criticising the boss when he was here,' and it all kicked off from there.

"All the players are happy with what the new manager is trying to do, but there are a group who owe a lot in their careers to Tony Pulis and don't like hearing him being rubbished.

"It rumbled on until the message came from the chairman. He said we ought to remember what had been achieved in the old regime.

"In seven years the club went from fighting relegation in the Championship to an unbroken five years in the Premier League, an FA Cup final and playing European football.

"It was clear he was very angry."

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