In his latest opinion piece, OVF founder Rob Fielding takes issue with Mo Chaudry’s appeal for bidders to reveal their identities.
Here’s Rob’s latest blog…
First, let’s put one thing straight. I still think Mo Chaudry could be an excellent owner of Port Vale FC. But… he’s not the only bidder in town any more, I think all bids should be considered equally and regardless of what some fans think, I don’t believe Mo Chaudry should be exempt from criticism either…
With those cards on the table, I have to say I am somewhat cynical about Mo’s latest interview with the Sentinel in which he champions fans’ opinions by saying that “There are these three mystery bidders, and it is in everybody’s interest that we know who these people are.”
Many may take that sentence as Mo championing the fans interests and trying to prevent another situation where fans are driven to protest about the lack of accountability and communication from the board room.
But the key phrase for me is that “it is in everyone’s interests” because there is a counter-argument to Chaudry’s appeal.
Chaudry’s comments are correct in the sense of ‘doing the right thing’ but critics could argue that the main parties to benefit from bidders revealing themselves would be rival bidders – such as Chaudry himself.
The old quote goes “know your enemy” and if bidders were forced to reveal themselves it would certainly help their rivals to plan their tactics to discredit them. Especially those who are still to lodge a formal bid.
So, away from the moral debate and back to reality where at this stage… the only people who are required to know the bidders’ identities are the club’s administrators. Revealing bidder’s identities just to satisfy fans’ curiosities is not a requirement because like it or lump it, fans will have little say in who is picked as the preferred bidder.
Once the club entered administration, the decision about who would take us over was put firmly into the hands of the administrators and creditors. Yes, fans can give important feedback. Yes, it’s important to keep your customers happy. Yes, there is a strong moral argument for bidders to come clean, but ultimately the supporters are going to have to trust the administrators to make the right decision. I’m surprised that a hard-headed businessman would think that other businessmen would take a moral route rather than follow corporate logic.
Let me just repeat some things again for anyone foaming at the lips over my temerity to criticise Mo:
- I would be very happy with Mr Chaudry owning Port Vale FC (if he is the best option for the club)
- But he should not be immune from criticism.
- Yes, morally his argument is right, but bidding for to take over a limited company in administration is normally NOT a moral pursuit.
So, now to my conclusion…
I think that once the bids are finalised, the bidders will have to come out and reveal who they are. If they don’t at that stage that will be the time to worry… until then, we the fans have little choice but to trust in the administrators.
So why does Mo want the bidders to reveal all now?
Could it possibly be that with his bid still to be formally lodged, currying favour with fans desperate to know bidders’ identities and knowing who he is competing with could be an enormous advantage when it comes to his final proposal to Vale’s administrators?
Rob Fielding is a Port Vale fan for 31 years and he’d like to confirm that, despite the success of OVF’s recent paypal appeal, he is NOT one of the mystery bidders…