Port Vale’s survival is the overriding priority…

Port Vale’s survival is the overriding priority…

In his latest opinion piece, OVF founder Rob Fielding says that he feels that the players and managers need a reality check after their recent comments criticising the club’s administrators.

Rob adds that although it’s harsh, his first priority is the survival of his football club, not the sensitivities of players and coaching staff.

The players and manager need a reality check…

Sorry, but for me, Port Vale FC comes ahead of Micky Adams (undoubtedly a good manager) and the current group of players. It’s a harsh statement, but it’s the truth.

It seems that administrator Bob Young and his colleagues have caused a storm in the last week.

The use of an agent to gauge interest in the players to raise funds for the club has caused several players and manager Micky Adams to steer very close to open revolt. The players have indicated that they feel like their futures have been taken out of their and their agents’ hands and that Micky Adams’ authority has been undermined

It’s interesting that some players mention that their first loyalty is to manager Micky Adams, because mine is to Port Vale FC.

While I appreciate that it’s not nice to worry about your future (I should know, I have been made redundant twice myself) I feel there needs to be a reality check here.

The administrators are here to make sure Port Vale is financially equipped to survive. They are not here to make friends and some of their decisions are not going to be popular, but make them, they must.

After all, I know what I would like – I want Port Vale to survive.

Of course the preferred option would be for all the best players to stay and for new owners to take over in that position of strength. But if that is not possible – and it’s important to remember that only the administrators know the true financial picture – then I would rather have a football club without a manager, without half a dozen star players and in danger of relegation than no football club at all.

I understand that the players and manager are worried about their future; I understand that they feel there should have been better communication and that many of them don’t want to move. But Bob Young has been extensively quoted in the media. Here’s one of the things that he said: “Any final decision [on player sales] is ours because it is our neck on the blocks in terms of ensuring the club survives.”

That’s pretty clear cut in my book. “Ensuring the club survives” comes first in Young’s priorities.

So, I think some players and in particular, the manager (with his increasingly petulant interviews mentioning “talking to lawyers” or pointed comments about “disappointing” events) need to take a reality check. Administration is a last resort and with last resorts come tough decisions. For the future of my football club, I am grateful that the administrators seem prepared to take them, whether they are unpopular or not…


Rob Fielding has been a Vale supporter for thirty-odd years and he dearly wants his football club to survive…

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