Port Vale dispute policing costs

Port Vale dispute policing costs

The Sentinel newspaper claims that Port Vale FC are involved in a disagreement over policing costs that almost resulted in the game against Doncaster being postponed.

Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis claimed that there were “continued disputes” between the club and police over the force’s risk assessment of matches. However, despite the disagreement, the game against Doncaster will go ahead as planned.

Protracted talks between Port Vale and Staffordshire Police have failed to resolve the issue leading to a further stand off yesterday which threatened the game going ahead…

Ellis added that: “In the last few weeks specific intelligence received by Staffordshire Police about the Port Vale versus Doncaster game resulted in a proposal by police to increase the category of risk, something which club owner Mr Smurthwaite has refused to accept and specifically any extra costs. Protracted talks between Port Vale and Staffordshire Police have failed to resolve the issue leading to a further stand off yesterday which threatened the game going ahead.

“Mr Smurthwaite’s representatives informed the local Safety Advisory Group (SAG), which is the multi-public agency body that authorises safety certificates for football grounds, that police officers would be refused entry to the Vale Park ground for Saturday’s match, something he has now retracted. He continues, however, to disagree with the police intelligence that suggests there could be any greater risk to safety. This week’s fall out has again led to Mr Smurthwaite threatening to close the club down for business reasons.”
The newspaper notes that Mr Smurthwaite has so far declined to comment but he is understood to be considering making a club statement.