In an interview with BBC Radio Stoke broadcast on Friday morning, Vale’s star striker Tom Pope contradicted earlier reports that his contract had been automatically extended by the club.
His contract now runs until the end of next season and that is good news for this football club…
Pope, who has scored 26 goals this season, was under contract until the end of the season but was reported to have triggered an automatic 12-month extension to his deal when he hit the fifteen goal mark this campaign.
This claim was reported in the Sentinel newspaper with Vale co-owner Paul Wildes quoted as saying “His contract now runs until the end of next season and that is good news for this football club.”
However, Wildes’ comments appear to be somewhat premature with Pope telling BBC Radio Stoke that he has yet to sign the extension to his contract.
Pope is widely seen as Vale’s prized possession and this admission will no doubt prompt fans’ concerns that Pope may be tempted by offers from clubs in higher divisions in the summer.
However, a big-money move elsewhere may not be the best option for the 27 year-old. Pope’s £150,000 move to Rotherham earlier in his career was not a success and the new regime of Wildes and Smurthwaite appear to have ambitious plans for the Valiants. Vale will hope that the striker will be happy to continue playing for the club he supported as a boy in the area in which he grew up.
Micky Adams’ attacking tactics have no doubt helped Pope’s strike-rate but home comforts also appear to have played a major role in Pope’s transformation from a low-scoring support forward to one of the Football League’s most prolific frontmen.