Stoke City Football Club chairman Peter Coates is enjoying his second spell at the club which is celebrating it’s promotion to the English Premier League.
Born in Goldenhill, Stoke-on-Trent and the son of a miner, Peter began his career in the catering and gambling industries with Stadia and Lindley Catering and Provincial Racing respectively.
In 1974, Peter bought three betting shops which would prove to be the start of the Provincial Racing chain which consists of 49 shops across the country.
Peter moved into online gambling in 2000, prompted by his daughter Denise, and Bet365 was born.
In July 2005 he sold his betting shops for £40 million to concentrate on the online business. Bet365 is estimated to be worth in the region of £175 million catapulting Peter into the top 25 richest people in British football.
A lifelong Stoke City fan, Peter first became actively involved with the Potters in 1985 when he was appointed to the club’s board. He was made Chairman in 1989 and initiated the club’s move from the Victoria Ground to the newly built Britannia Stadium.
During his first spell with the club, Peter witnessed the team’s relegation to the old Football League Third Division, before achieving promotion from the now renamed Second Division to the Championship.
He stepped down as Chairman in 1997 following a string of bad performances, but remained a majority shareholder of the club until finally being bought out in 1999 by an Icelandic consortium.
Peter returned to his position as Stoke City Football Club Chairman during 2005. He paid £1.7 million to buy back the club and a further £3.3 million to cancel the debts. Upon his return, Peter’s aim was to take the stable Championship side into Premiership within five years; a dream which was achieved with the club’s second place finish.