A club statement on the official Port Vale website says that Vale’s home friendly games will have to take place behind closed doors as the period in administration means the club have been unable to carry out the “usual maintenance work.”
The news will increase fears over whether Vale Park’s safety certificate will be ready in time for the start of the League Two season although the statement claims that the club will “ensure” a safety certificate is in place for the opening game of the season.
The full statement reads:
Port Vale Football Club is regrettably forced to announce that the club’s two home pre-season friendly games, against Coventry City and Tranmere Rovers, will be played behind closed doors.
This is an enforced decision as the club has been unable to carry out usual maintenance work during the closed season owing to the prolonged period in administration.
The club are working closely with Stoke-on-Trent City Council to ensure that the two parties have agreements and safety certification in place prior to the Capital One Cup fixture against Burnley on August 14. In previous seasons, the club has not always opened the whole stadium for early season cup games and this situation will be addressed and an announcement made nearer the date.
Port Vale’s Club Secretary, Bill Lodey, said: “This is not a situation we have taken lightly and I would like to apologise to all of our supporters, who I am certain will be bitterly disappointed.
“In an ideal world, the work on the stadium would have been completed well in advance of the new season but as we have been in administration, we simply haven’t been able to do this.
“The period of administration has been – and continues to be – incredibly difficult for everyone connected to Port Vale and the staff are included in that. We are simply not ready. Our priority is to ensure that we are fully prepared for the Burnley game and that is what we are all working towards.”