Is this the most surreal reason that anyone ever avoided a driving ban?

After getting 15 points on his licence, Stoke City manager Tony Pulis successfully argued that losing his licence could jeopardise the club's transfer activity, because he'd have to talk about it in front of a chauffeur.


In turn, losing the ability to have confidential conversations in the car would harm Stoke City's chances of avoiding relegation.

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Pulis's lawyer argued that "being in the Premier League has put Stoke-on-Trent on the map. It has led to numerous businesses being set up.

"A number of them are totally reliant on Stoke City, and those businesses would suffer if they were relegated. The people of Stoke-on-Trent could suffer if Mr Pulis lost his licence and lost his job."

Tony Pulis is the latest in a long line of football bosses and players that have successfully used ingenious defences. The most famous example up to now was Sir Alex Ferguson who, in 1999, successfully claimed that he was only speeding because he had an upset stomach and had to get to a toilet urgently.

We like the version of the Tony Pulis story that appears on News Thump, about how al-Queda operatives could use his defence, as they definitely could not discuss their operational plans in front of a chauffeur.