LONDON | Sat Jan 7, 2012 8:29pm GMT
LONDON – Stoke City manager Tony Pulis had the last laugh on Gillingham chairman Paul Scally on Saturday when his Premier League side came for behind to knock out their fourth-tier hosts 3-1 in the FA Cup third round.
The two men were once involved in a long-running dispute that eventually went to court after Pulis was sacked by the Kent club in 1999.
Asked on the eve of the FA Cup tie if he would let bygones be bygones, Scally told Sky Sports News the only hatchet he would bury would be in Pulis’s head.
“I will never forgive or forget what he did. He affected me, my family and this football club,” stated the Gillingham chairman.
“Had he been successful with his court claim I doubt this club would be here. It was an unpleasant scenario and took a lot out of me.”
Scally banned his former manager from sections of the ground Saturday and Pulis had to hold his post-match news conference in the tunnel.
“If he wants to state stuff, it’s a free world,” the Stoke manager told reporters after his Europa League qualifiers came back from 1-0 down to win with goals from Jonathan Walters, Cameron Jerome and Robert Huth.
“He can state what he wants but you have seen this day who really counts and that is the supporters,” added Pulis referring to the standing ovation he received from the Gillingham crowd.
“I had four fantastic seasons here, took a club that was in administration to Wembley (for a third-tier playoff against Manchester City) in my final game, in front of 90,000 people, and we took 38,000 people there.
“It’s lovely the supporters remember exactly what happened in that time. You’ve seen what they think of the job I did here – that is all that matters to me.
“It was very special,” added Pulis.
(Writing by Tony Jimenez, editing by Ken Ferris)
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