'I just couldn’t believe the financial situation': Tony Pulis makes Middlesbrough claim while discussing club's transfer business
Tony Pulis believes Middlesbrough would have finished in the top two if the club had kept some of their key players during the 2018 summer transfer window.
The 63-year-old Welshman spent 18 months at Boro and missed out on the play-offs by just one point during the 2018/19 campaign.
Pulis was appointed at Boro in December 2017, replacing Garry Monk, when the Teessiders had spent over £50million following relegation from the Premier League.
At the start of Pulis’ only full season in charge, Boro sold Ben Gibson, Adama Traore and Patrick Bamford to Burnley, Wolves and Leeds respectively as the club tried to cut their wage bill.
Speaking to the Back of the Net podcast, Pulis said: “I had 18 months at Middlesbrough and Steve Gibson is a good friend of mine.
“I went to a football club that had spent nearly £55million on players and had a wage bill as big as most lower-tier Premier League sides.
“Steve had given it a bit of a go with the manager and it hadn’t worked.
“When I took over I just couldn’t believe the financial situation the club was in.
“We sold Bamford, Traore, (Adam) Forshaw, Gibson, (Cyrus) Christie, I think we got rid of 14-15 players over a period of 18 months.
“We brought (George) Saville, (Paddy) McNair and Flinty (Aden Flint) in, Flinty went to Cardiff and they got their money back on him the season I left.
“We got in the play-offs and missed out on the play-offs by one point, but no one will ever say look at what Tony had in respect to the players he was working with.”
Pulis was heavily criticised before he left Boro and still believes he doesn't get enough credit for his work at the club.
“If we’d have kept Bamford, Traore and Gibson, I think we’d have finished in the top two but you don’t do it and get criticised,” Pulis added.
“The supporters don’t turn around and say he’s really looked after the football club, the only one who appreciates that will be Steve who is a really good friend of mine.”