Britannia History Season 99/00
For the third season in a row, Stoke were searching for a new manager. Tony Pullis, First choice joined Bristol City claiming Stoke lacked ambition. 2nd choice, Hard working and honest Gary Megson joined Stoke as manager, installing his own coach Nigel Pearson.
Ex-Vale manager John Rudge was appointed Football Executive of his former rivals and Stoke actually looked once again a decent outfit.
Stoke climbed into third place as confidence grew after their 7 wins in 9 matches. Megson was forced to sell Larus Sigurdson to West Brom for £350,000 and it looked like Kavanagh and Thorne were next to go to balance the books.
Then, the saviours of Stoke City came along with an offer, which could not be ignored. This Icelandic Consortium came along, they wanted the club but also wanted to install their own manager. This manager was the man who first got the group together Mr Gudjon Thordarson. He was in a whisker of Euro 2000 with his country Iceland, which is no mean feat for a country that had never qualified for anything before.
Officially the takeover was on November 15th 1999. A 66% share in the club belonged to "Stoke Holding". The plan was to re-structure the debts so they could be paid off over some years so new players could also be purchased.
Gary Megson was unfortunate to loose his job as he was doing an excellent job as manager. Gudjon won his first game in charge 4-0 away to Wycombe. The new board had it all right off the pitch aswell as on, setting up the Fans Forum.
On February 23rd, Sir Stanley Matthews died to the upset of many. Pele called him 'the sports greatest ambassador', and many famous football greats turned up to the funeral such as Bobby Charlton and Gordon Banks.
3 Days after his death, Violence spilled onto the pitch at the JJB stadium as Wigan fans broke the minute silence for Stanley Matthews. It got nothing but trouble for Stoke fans in the end as it helped to further earn a reputation for the Potters faithful but it was totally disrespectful from the Wigan so-called football supporters.
Stoke went to Wembley for the final of the auto-windscreens shield, and won 2-1 vs Bristol City. Graham Kavanagh and then Peter Thorne scored the goals and that win in front of 76,000 at Wembley saw Stoke's confidence grow.
Stoke stormed into the playoffs. Gunnarsson, Gudjonson and Hansson arrived for about £800,000 all together and Arnar Gunnlaugson was signed on loan from Leicester.
Thorne scored 16 goals in 13 games and Stoke faced Gillingham in the 2nd division playoffs. With many people travelling and even more people watching a huge screen at the Britannia Stadium, the players couldn't hold on to their 1 goal lead as awful referee who will never be forgiven by the potters, Rob Styles, destroyed our hopes of division one football and we all went home bitterly disappointed.