Message from Peter and John Coates...
WE HAVE been very proud to own Stoke City, along with Denise and through bet365, over the last 12 years and have felt privileged to share with you some fantastic times and experiences. However, the 2017/18 season has been a bitter disappointment to us all. Everybody at the Club, including ourselves, are deeply hurt and frustrated at relegation. When things go wrong, it is inevitable that a great deal of soul searching goes on. You ask yourself the question, what should we have done differently? What mistakes did we make?
It is important that we ask these questions in order that we learn and improve, so that the Club is in the strongest possible position to make a return as quickly as possible to the Premier League.
Hindsight is a wonderful vantage point, however, it is clear that significant errors were made in the transfer market. There was a desire from all of us at the Club to improve the quality of the football we played, both in terms of entertainment and league position, and players were brought to the Club that it was felt had the ability to help us achieve our collective aim.
Unfortunately the squad became unbalanced and perhaps we lost some of the core values that have served us so well and are so crucial when you have a bad spell.
It is absolutely clear that a major overhaul is required. We need to regain our identity and focus and the summer will be spent doing this.
It is right that supporters will question whether we should have made a managerial change sooner. As a family we are inherently loyal people and this loyalty has served us well in business. We will always give people that little bit longer than most to prove themselves and this will continue. However, this does not mean that we always make the correct call and again with hindsight, we perhaps should have made an earlier change.
Our core focus is now on the future. We are absolutely committed to continue, along with Denise, our significant emotional and financial commitment to this Club. We will be doing everything we can to help us secure a return to the top flight of English football as soon as possible.
We absolutely understand that this is going to be a great challenge and we cannot offer any guarantees. However, please be assured that we will do all we can to work with everybody at the Club to assemble a squad that can make us all proud again.
Finally, we would like to thank you again for your wonderful support both home and away during this difficult season. It has been magnificent.