Reasons to be cheerful on and off the pitch

Reasons to be cheerful on and off the pitch

OVF editor Rob Fielding says this latest column is solely to issue praise for Port Vale – both on and off the pich.

That heartfelt and honest statement was exactly the sort of response I was hoping for and once again confirms my personal view that we are lucky to have Norman as our chairman…

Rob Fielding writes…

One lesson I learnt from my years working in customer service is this one: people are much more willing to complain than to praise.

That doesn’t mean that because people are complaining they are in the majority – just that they are more visible. You see, satisfied customers are more likely to do nothing – well, why should they, they’re happy! If you want something changing or you’re not happy about something then you’re more likely to let people know. You’re less likely to tell people you’re happy with things as they are.

It’s a known principle of customer service and perhaps one that people who read the OVF forum as a constant source of complaint may want to take on board. If content fans are remaining silent, it doesn’t always follow that those complaining hold the majority view. That’s not to say that they don’t – certainly during the anti-board protests, surveys showed over 90% were angry with the club. It’s  just that it is not as simple as thinking that just because there are a few complaints on the forum that therefore all OVF forum users must be moaners.

And with regards to my blogs – naturally I’m much more likely to write if I feel something needs correcting (in recent issues that has included the club’s communication skills, the manager’s attitude to Internet forums and many, many complaints about the previous boards) and so it’s probably high time I wrote something with absolutely no complaints in it.

OK, here goes…

Off the pitch…

It was very welcome to read Norman Smurthwaite’s statements which addressed most of the issues fans had raised…

Following criticism of the club’s communication efforts, it was very welcome to read Norman Smurthwaite’s statements which addressed most of the issues fans had raised and vowed to improve the club’s communications. I also personally feel that with a season under his belt things like delays to the home and third kit won’t happen again.

Anyhow, that heartfelt and honest statement was exactly the sort of response I was hoping for and once again confirms my personal view that we are lucky to have Norman as our chairman. Now before this becomes too much of a “love-in” I am aware no-one is perfect so not all future blogs may be like this one, but I’m extremely happy with how the club has instigated some major developments over the summer (online ticketing, cashless turnstiles, a new club shop) to bring Vale into the 21st century. They’ve not all been flawless transitions, but I believe the club will be much the better for them.

On the pitch..

Perhaps Vale’s squad is not as threadbare as some critics felt?

Well, it’s rosy there too. We should bear in mind that we are missing Dan Jones at the moment while we’ve barely had to call on Lee Hughes from the bench (two players who were seen as potential key performers in the summer) and yet we’re still winning – home and away. Perhaps Vale’s squad is not as threadbare as some critics felt? We’ve still got the loan market to use, after all.

We’ve even managed to win without manager Micky Adams overseeing things. I’m sure that when Adams does return that will give the players a further boost and we could even be looking to consolidate in the top ten place – something that seems a long away way when a “relegation fight” was being predicted.

Overall…

Well, it’s good isn’t it? Looking back over the dramas of previous seasons, it’s a relief to see the club doing well on and off the pitch, with no crises to deal with, it all adds up to a fantastic feelgood factor around Vale Park right now.

It’s no wonder the OVF forum is quiet… it seems everyone’s too happy to bother posting!

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