`We speak a lot’ – Boss explains why he is confident about Stoke City future



Michael O’Neill says Stoke City couldn’t be in better and safer hands at this time of crisis.

O’Neill says the Coates family has already demonstrated its intentions to keep the club – and its staff – secure by pledging to pay all salaries for at least the next five months.

Their pledge comes at a time when football at the top end is under moral scrutiny after the likes of Newcastle and Tottenham, despite their multi-million pound owners and footballers, have asked the taxpayer to foot 80 per cent of the wages of non-playing staff.

O’Neill says the security given by the club’s owners is crucial for himself and his players during the current uncertainty of the nationwide lock down.

“I have conversations with Peter and John on a weekly or bi-weekly basis,” he revealed, “so we are speaking quite a lot, with (chief executive) Tony Scholes as well.

“We have to be realistic as well, the longer this goes on, everyone has to make decisions that are in the best interests of the club.

“I know the club is in safe hands and the Coates family won’t make decisions like some clubs have, very quickly.

“What they haven’t done is risk the future of the football club so that you are in a vulnerable state – the decisions they have made have made sure that isn’t the case.

“I think that’s very important because it gives a lot of insurance to the players.”

But he acknowledges that the spectre of pay deferrals/cuts isn’t one that even Stoke City can ignore for ever.

He continued: “You see a lot in the media about players deferring wages or having wages cut, those are all things that the longer this situation goes on for we have to be realistic about.

“We have to make sure we can be open and honest with everyone and that may be a situation that arises.

“But the main thing is, the owners are intent on trying to keep everything as normal as possible for as long as possible.

“That gives a lot of security to all the staff and all the players as well.”





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