It’s time for Vale to bring in a CEO

It’s time for Vale to bring in a CEO

Rob Fielding says that cuts in the playing budget are bound to cause some discontent but the wider issue is – the club really needs a CEO.

Rob Fielding writes…

I regard a CEO’s role as so important that I would accept losing one or two squad players initially…

It’s inevitable that there would be rumblings of discontent after Chairman Norman Smurthwaite reportedly claimed that next season’s playing budget was to be “slashed.” However, it’s not that unexpected after an apparently over-optimistic budget forecast for this campaign.

I know Norman Smurthwaite will probably dispute this and ask “which players would you get rid of?” or ask how else the club can afford it, but despite these possible cuts in the playing budget, I still think the club desperately needs a CEO.

The chairman himself had admitted he has made mistakes and is on a “steep learning curve” and I therefore think it’s actually a false economy to worry about losing an additional player or even two in order to get a CEO in.

I regard a CEO’s role as so important that I would accept losing one or two squad players initially. A good CEO will more than pay for themselves so if we can attract the right person then that initial loss of one or two players can gradually become a net increase of several more players as the CEO brings more revenue into the club and the playing budget increases accordingly.

A CEO who knows the game can undoubtedly help a Chairman who publically admits he is still a “novice” and has missed the input given by the more PR and marketing savvy Paul Wildes.

There are plenty of issues that need resolving at Vale Park – including the future of manager Micky Adams and the future of 14 first-teamers – and many would argue that these things should have been dealt with already. Perhaps with a CEO who has worked in the game, who can plan and organise, these issues would already be ironed out and perhaps the message about playing budget cuts would also have been better communicated?

So, for me the question is not – “can the club afford a CEO?” it’s simply “can the club afford not to have one?”


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What does a CEO do?

The role of a chief executive is to deliver the strategic plan, coordinate an operational plan and essentially manage the day-to-day running of an organisation.



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