A letter from liquidators Begsbies Traynor send out to all shareholders in Port Vale (Valiant 2001) Football Club Ltd has reminded shareholders that the liquidators “reserve the right to request payment of the capital”.
Out of the hundreds of shareholders listed in the document dated 16th October 2014, only three people – Blue Sky International owner Hank Julicher (shares named in his wife Margrit Julicher’s name) and former directors Perry Deakin and Peter Miller – have not paid for their shareholding.
Hundreds of Vale fans purchased shareholdings, some bought for children or others by fans who have sadly passed away and each one paid for their shares in full.
Julicher denied buying any shares, memorably commenting that: “I’d have to be crazy or on drugs to agree to such a thing.”
However, Miller (50,000 shares with none paid for) and Deakin (20,000 shares with none paid for) also stand out on the list.
OVF still hopes that justice will be seen to be done.
The board that nearly killed Port Vale FC....The "MOLD" (Miller, Oliver, Lloyd and Deakin) board (2011-2012) came perilously close to destroying Port Vale FC. Only the goodwill of Stoke-on-Trent city council, the hard work of the Port Vale supporters club and administrators Begsbies-Traynor prevented the club being wound-up.
MOLD showed little regard for Vale fans, deceiving shareholders with the "nil-paid shares" deception, re-mortgaging Vale Park and in process breaking the terms of the loan with Stoke-on-Trent city council while Miller and Deakin both drew large salaries which the cash-strapped club could not sustain.
Perry Deakin and Peter Miller were involved in the nil-paid shares controversy that infuriated supporters. In essence, during their attempt to join the board, the pair wrote to supporters saying that they had "purchased" £350,000 worth of shares and sought election on that basis.
But it was soon revealed by the Sentinel newspaper that neither man had paid for their shares and despite promises that payment would be forthcoming, there was no evidence of any money ever being handed to the club. In effect, Deakin and Miller secured election to the Port Vale board without any money coming in to the club accounts.
Miller invoked a storm of criticism when, despite being the first Vale chairman to draw a salary (over £100,000 per year and a rented Mercedes car), he failed to complete a reported "multi-million" investment in the club by Blue Sky Turf. Miller also arranged a remortgage of Vale Park in contravention of the rules of the club's existing loan with Stoke city council.
Deakin was involved in the Supporters Club being locked out of their meeting venue (he later claimed this was a misunderstanding, despite evidence proving the meeting had been pre-booked), refusing to sanction club hospitality to the legendary Sproson family (whose members have made over 1,000 Port Vale appearances) on the eve of the unveiling of the Roy Sproson statue, a bitter dispute with non-league neighbours Nantwich (after which Deakin admitted that Port Vale were in the wrong), agreeing to the remortgage of Vale Park by Peter Miller, disputes with both shirt sponsors and the programme publishers.
But most damning of all both were key members of the board which took the club into administration and perilously close to extinction.
Recently, the club's administrators Begsbies-Traynor, who were in charge of the club during 2012, announced that investigations into the "nil-paid shares" issue were continuing.
Administrator Steve Currie said in November 2012 that: "We recognise that the actions of the previous directors are of concern to fans – many of whom have lost out as a result of their investment in shares in Valiant 2001 – and we are doing everything we can to assist the police in their investigations. We continue to look at a number of areas where we may be able to recover funds – including the issuing of 'nil-paid' shares. These investigations are ongoing and the details cannot be made public at this time."
In January 2013, it was announced that there was the possibility of beginning bankruptcy proceedings against Deakin and Miller. The action would be in light of neither person apparently making any effort to pay for their 'nil-paid' shares.
Many Vale fans are still angry with the antics of the "MOLD" board and will be anxious to prevent any other football club having to go through the same torment that Port Vale FC fans went through.