Norman Smurthwaite says he accepts he is “partly responsible” for delays in Micky Adams being offered a contract but he has confirmed that “Micky’s contract will be put in front of him” next week.
The manager’s future has been the subject of much speculation throughout most of this season with many fans urging the club to resolve the issue earlier in the year.
Smuthwaite has acknowledged his part in the delays and told the Sentinel: “I am partly responsible for the lack of season-ticket take up because of how I have handled the Micky situation.
“Even my wife reminds me of that, when I go to bed, and when I wake up, and sometimes in between the two.
“Micky’s contract will be put in front of him and hopefully the fans will support me in the decision to reappoint Micky as the manager.
“Hopefully they will come forward and buy season tickets and continue to support the club in whatever way they have done in the past.”
Smurthwaite is also hopeful that Adams will be handed a transfer budget of around £2.1m should he remain with the club. The club owner explained to the Sentinel: “If we sell 4,000 season tickets, the budget should be around £1.9m, based on the information we have to hand.
“But I am looking nearer to 5,000, especially with the initiatives I have announced which makes them more affordable.
“When I say season tickets, that includes the 10-ticket option and the full season tickets, they will both be included in the 5,000 target.
“If it went up to 5,000 we would then be looking at about £2.1m [budget for the manager].”
It is widely regarded by many fans that the uncertainty over the manager’s future has been one of the causes of slow season ticket sales. The uncertainty over Adam’s future could have a knock-on effect on the fourteen Vale players who are also out of contract in the summer. It is highy unlikely that the likes of Chris Lines, Carl Dickinson, Doug Loft and Chris Neal will commit their futures to the club without knowing who next season’s manager will be. That could open the door to other clubs making approaches to Vale’s star names.
Adams’ future at the Vale is subject of much debate. Earlier this season, Adams declared that he was “considering his options” after he alleged he was abused by a number of fans following the Bristol City defeat. Rumour has linked Adams to a number of other clubs notably Gillingham and Blackpool.
The long wait…
Sept 2013: Adams refuses to comment on his contract and hints that he could leave at the end of the season
Sept 2013: An editorial by OVF urges the club to sort out Adams’ contract by the end of 2013 at the latest
Oct 2013: Chairman Norman Smurthwaite claims that he wants Adams to stay
Jan 2014: Adams is linked with the vacant Blackpool manager’s job by some media agencies
Jan 2014: An OVF editorial says that Adams’ contract should be the club’s “number one priority”
Jan 2014: Tom Pope says that the Vale players are desperate for Adams to stay
Jan 2014: Smurthwaite says there should be “something on the table at the end of February, early March”
Feb 2014: Smurthwaite says that initial contract talks with Adams have begun – although a written offer is yet to be made
Feb 2014: Adams says he has yet to see any offer, that Smurthwaite “has to deliver” a contract and if it’s suitable he’s “never expressed a desire to leave”
Mar 2014: Smurthwaite says Adams will sign a deal by the end of the month but Adams says it is more likely to be the end of the season
Apr 2014: Smurthwaite says that “Micky’s contract will be put in front of him”