After West Bromwich Albion beat Stoke 1-0 at the weekend, Baggies manager (and former Stoke boss) Tony Pulis didn't shake Mark Hughes' hand. Pulis denied deliberately 'snubbing' Hughes after the game but Hughes was unimpressed, saying (per Sky Sports):
I was there for quite some time, and didn't leave the pitch area. There was no handshake at the beginning of the game either.
I always think as a visiting manager, I am a guest of their club...there should be a gesture.
The two have history from a few years ago when Pulis was managing The Potters and Hughes was with Fulham. Pulis snubbed Hughes after a league game in response to Hughes' reaction to Pulis following a League Cup clash.
But now things have taken a rather bizarre turn.
In a report in the Stoke Sentinel, Hughes has accused Pulis of bizarre actions following the game at the weekend towards Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross, who played under Pulis for six years at the former Britannia Stadium. Hughes said:
We were annoyed with a number of things. We were annoyed with their manager ringing up Ryan on the Monday morning after the game and calling him a loser.
I wasn't too happy with that either, but hey ho. Any number of things surrounding the game were, in our view, unnecessary.
There was a voice mail left. I haven't heard it, but Ryan wasn't too pleased and tried to ring back and didn't get any answer.
The report says that when asked whether Pulis' message was "tongue-in-cheek", Hughes replied:
I don't think so.
Shawcross, asked about Saido Berahino's ban earlier this season for testing positive in a drugs test, told reporters that "someone from West Brom must have been speaking to the papers". Asked about these remarks at a press conference this week, Pulis didn't mention any voicemail but did say:
Ryan has tried to ring me since that and I will get back to him.
Whatever happens, it looks like an unlikely grudge rivalry is being formed between Stoke City and West Brom, with Berahino at the centre of it all. Pulis gave a fairly blunt interview about the 23-year-old when he left the Hawthornes, saying he doesn't really "give a damn" about whether Hughes is the man to help Berahino's career.