Peter Coates, former Chairman of Stoke City FC, has given several large donations to the Labour Party. He pledged £100,000 in March 1999 and has given donations via companies that he controls: more than £5,000 via Lindley Catering Investments in 1998 and 2000, £25,000 in 2001 and £20,000 via Sprintinca in June 1999.
Peter Coates owns Lindley Catering Investments, who run the catering at a large number of football grounds, including Aston Villa, Sunderland, Derby County, Coventry City, Southampton, Man City, Charlton, Ipswich, Wolves, Birmingham City, Stoke City, West Brom, Barnsley, Bury and Sheffield Utd. They also run the catering at Nottinghamshire and Gloucestershire County Cricket Clubs and at shopping centres. The board of the Staffordshire-based company is largely made up of Coates family members, as is Sprintinca (another catering company). His catering companies also operate in theatres, leisure centres and on other commercial and industrial contracts.
Peter Coates was Chairman of Stoke City for 12 years, until he sold 66% of the club to an Icelandic consortium in 1998 in a deal which keeps him on the Board for life and let him and fellow Director Keith Humpreys walk away with £3.5 million. He first became involved in Stoke City through his catering company Stadia Catering (which later became Lindley Catering Investments). He sits on the Football Association's international committee, responsible for choosing the manager of the England football team.
He also owns the Provincial Racing chain of 46 betting shops across Cheshire and the Midlands (the 6th largest privately-owned betting company in the UK) and has been on the board of several companies that were sold for very large amounts of money, including Signal Radio (sold to Radio Partnerships) and Padline (a Glasgow-based stationary distribution company sold in 1996). He also owns Russia Express, publishers of business information to companies in Eastern Europe. He is also a Director of Bet365 Ltd and Probet Technology Ltd.