Sentinel, Smurthwaite offer updates on dispute

Sentinel, Smurthwaite offer updates on dispute

OVF has been contacted by both Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite and Sentinel with an update on their dispute.

The Sentinel have claimed that the dispute is down to the Vale owner’s anger at a “negative” article about delays to a special edition shirt and claims that Smurthwaite asked the newspaper to pay £10,000 to report on games.

However, Smurthwaite has denied these claims and says that the newspaper threatened to use confidential information he had given them and have also ignored requests to use official club channels for press comments.

Now, the Port Vale owner has called on supporters to be patient saying that “the earliest any discussions or meetings will take place will be Tuesday.”

Smurthwaite has also made a personal appeal for fans to not engage in infighting about the issue. He told OVF: “I don’t mind them shouting at me, but please don’t shout at each other. Please do not start fighting among yourselves. Keep the faith!”

The owner added that he was “looking forward to the game against Swindon Town and hoping for another three points for the Valiants.”


Meanwhile, the Sentinel have also contacted OVF to inform fans that  “The Sentinel drafted a joint statement on Tuesday, as agreed with Mr Smurthwaite on Monday, in an effort to resolve the current dispute.”

“We have been working tirelessly for a speedier resolution and did want to end the impasse immediately. However, the Port Vale chairman has asked for a meeting on Tuesday of next week (November 5).

“The Sentinel is committed to resolving this dispute which we believe is not in the interests of either Port Vale or The Sentinel who should be working together for the good of our communities.

“We would urge fans to continue to support your team and your local newspaper which will continue to cover Port Vale to the best of its abilities – irrespective of any ban.”


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