Sunday, October 24, 2021

Stoke, West Brom clash over ‘loser’ voicemail

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West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis called Ryan Shawcross, captain of his former club Stoke City, a “loser” in a voicemail message, according to Stoke manager Mark Hughes.

Shawcross had accused West Brom of leaking the news that Saido Berahino had served an eight-week ban for failing a drugs test prior to joining Stoke from West Brom last month.

West Brom won 1-0 when the teams met at The Hawthorns in the Premier League last weekend and Hughes claims Pulis insulted Shawcross in a voicemail message left on Monday.

“We were annoyed with a number things,” Hughes said, in comments published in British newspapers on Saturday.

“I was annoyed with their manager ringing up Ryan on the Monday morning after the game and calling him a loser. I wasn’t too happy with that.

“Any number of things surrounding the game were, in our view, unnecessary. There was a voicemail left, and I haven’t heard it. But Ryan wasn’t too pleased. He tried to ring back and didn’t get any answer.”

Hughes did not receive a handshake from fellow Welshman Pulis after last weekend’s game, which saw Berahino make his second Stoke appearance as a second-half substitute.

Berahino joined Stoke for £12 million ($15 million, 14.1 million euros) last month, having served his ban earlier in the season after reportedly testing positive for a recreational drug.

Speaking on Friday, Pulis did not mention leaving a voicemail message, but said Shawcross, who played under him at Stoke, had tried to contact him.

“Ryan has tried to ring me since that (the quotes on Berahino) and I will get back to him,” said Pulis, who had two spells as Stoke manager from 2002-2005 and 2006-2013.

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