Paddy Power: We cocked-up over Stoke

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Bookmaker Paddy Power has apologised to Stoke City for paying out on the Potters being relegated from the Premier League after the opening day of the campaign.

Tony Pulis' side were comprehensively beaten 3-1 by Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium in August, leading to the betting firm to pay out on all bets for them to taste an instant drop back down to the Championship.

However, the Brittania Stadium outfit bounced straight back with a 3-2 home win against Aston Villa and have lost just three times on their own turf all season, with last weekend's beating of Blackburn all-but ensuring another season of top-flight football in Staffordshire.

And Paddy Power himself has reacted by sending a groveling apology to the club and its fans, purchasing a full-page advertisement in Friday's Stoke Sentinel newspaper, admitting his firm's foolishless.

“We cocked up,” it read.

"We were watching closely. And by the time the plucky Potters despatched Arsenal in November we were already hitting the panic button.

"We're not too proud to say you all proved us completely and spectacularly wrong. We are not only eating our words but also a great big slice of humble pie. We've got egg on our face and been caught with our pants down."