Hirst: unity is the only road to success for Vale

Hirst: unity is the only road to success for Vale

OVF blogger Malcolm Hirst says that as a new era dawns “unity is required both at the club and between the fans…”

Malcolm Hirst writes…

About the author

Malcolm, a long-serving Vale fan has been an OVF user since the days of the “one Vale fan in Bristol” website. Unfortunately, he even had to put up with travelling to some games with OVF head honcho Rob Fielding. Malcolm rose to attention in 2010 when he and fellow members of the North London Valiants supporters group forced an EGM in an attempt to remove the unpopular board from power. These are his personal views.

The old catchphrase ‘united we stand, divided we fall’ is an apt phrase as we usher in a new era under our new owner, Keith Ryder.

Unity is required both at the club and between the fans. It will be clear to all impartial fans and observers that the decimation of the club over the last 10 years was given a huge helping hand by disunity in the boardroom and on the terraces.

I believe the V2001 board was heading for failure as soon as Peter Jackson came on board. Two directors, Charles Machine and Geoff Wakefield, were ousted almost immediately. This was followed by the isolation and the removal from the decision making process of the likes of Paul Humphreys, Dave Smith and Mike Thompstone. In such circumstances the only certainty was failure.

I remember seeing the signs of disunity at boardroom level in a North London Valiants meeting with Mike Lloyd, Glenn Oliver and Perry Deakin following the EGM. Lloyd ‘chaired’ the meeting but it was clear Deakin was in charge, even though at that stage he was not a board member. Bratt was unavailable to attend and Oliver was isolated and visibly not part of the Deakin-Lloyd power axis. There seemed little hope for the club with such a disunited leadership even in the summer of 2011.

We are now out of administration and hope springs eternal. However, to have a chance of moving forward as a club and to gain promotion it is imperative to lay aside past differences. You may say ‘that is easier said then done’, and you would be correct. However, from the fans’ point of view we must forget Bratt, V2001, MOLD and Chaudry. I would suggest that Keith Ryder has to put these ghosts to rest too and I believe he will ensure this is done. Dare I say it, Micky Adams needs to lay aside his personal feelings for OVF and the fans forums.

Will there be disagreements? Definitely. Hopefully only about players, beer, the food and about football tactics. We should not confuse unity with uniformity of thought.

However, surely now is the time to move forward. In that vein I am excited NLV will be sponsoring the last match of the season once again. Hopefully this year it will signify a promotion party having #united-4-success in 2012-13.

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