A Premier League mediation panel has ruled Tony Pulis must repay former club, Crystal Palace, and co-owner, Steve Parish, a £2 million survival bonus in full, along with an extra £1.5 million in costs and damages.
Pulis kept Palace in the Premier League in 2014 and was due a £2 million bonus if he remained in his job beyond the first competitive game of the following season, however, the Welshman requested the payment to be brought forward and Parish agreed to his demands. Furthermore, Pulis subsequently left Palace just two days before the beginning of the 2014/15 season, meaning the payment was not yet contractually owed.
Parish took Pulis to court over survival bonus
Parish brought action against Pulis following his departure, claiming the bonus should be repaid by the former Stoke City boss as he had not remained in his job into the 2014/15 season. Parish and Palace have finally won their case and Pulis will be forced to repay the bonus, along with additional costs and damages that could see the total exceed £3.5 million.
Parish had included the bonus in the contract when Pulis replaced Ian Holloway in November 2013 as an incentive to keep the club in the Premier League, despite Palace being bottom of the table at the time following a disastrous start to their first season in the top-flight for eight years.
Pulis sensationally steered the Eagles to an eleventh-place finish the following May, but left ‘by mutual consent’ just two days before Palace travelled to the Emirates stadium to play Arsenal in the first game of the following season – a 2-1 defeat under the management of assistant boss, Keith Millen.
It was initially believed Pulis and Parish had fallen out due to a disagreement over signings - with Pulis desperate to add Gylfi Sigurdsson and Steven Caulker to his Palace squad - but it is now understood that Pulis did not intend to see out his contract once he had received his bonus for keeping the club in the division.
Palace and Pulis have since moved on in separate directions
Parish appointed Neil Warnock as Pulis’ successor but this was a decision that ultimately failed as Warnock was sacked the following January following a 3-1 defeat to Southampton, and was replaced by Newcastle United manager, Alan Pardew, as the club lingered above the relegation places.
Pulis has since gone on to manage West Brom, where he remains, but has been under pressure having seen several signings fail to make an impact, while he has also fallen out with star forward Saido Berahino on several occasions.
It is not yet understood whether Pulis will make an appeal.