Editor Rob Fielding thinks the club should have acted and secured winger Mark Marshall’s future earlier.
Rob Fielding writes…
I don’t do too many repeats on OVF but it’s worth repeating my blog from back in October 2014 that stated:
“I’ve argued before that the club needs to be proactive in giving contracts to key players rather than wait for their deals to run down and I think Marshall has done more than enough to earn an offer of a new deal. Vale need to protect their assets so any offer to Marshall should be now, before the January transfer window opens.”
I’ve repeated that paragraph after the Sentinel published an interview with Marshall in which it suggests that he could now move on if he receives a better offer from elsewhere.
Marshall told the newspaper: “I am honest. I have to get the best deal for me. If they give me the best deal then I am more than happy to stay. I am not getting any younger and finance is something that is important to me.”
I would argue that not all players in the Vale squad are equal…
Those words will no doubt concern Vale fans. After all, in January we were told by chairman Norman Smurthwaite that Marshall was happy to stay and was expected to sign a deal in January. But following a run of bad results, Smurthwaite decided to leave all contract negotiations to the summer.
That’s his prerogative of course and with Vale’s future in League One not secure until last week, it’s perhaps understandable that the club don’t want to commit to having lots of expensive contracts on their books.
However, I would argue that not all players in the Vale squad are equal. I would say that the most important players at the club right now are goalkeeper Chris Neal, midfielder Michael O’Connor, striker Tom Pope and Marshall. Only one of those four (Neal) is under contract.
I refer back to my blog post and that “Vale need to protect their assets.”…
In this fan’s eyes, while negotiations with the majority of the squad can wait, I refer back to my blog post and that “Vale need to protect their assets.”
Is it really worthwhile to leave the futures of three key assets until the summer? If the players do stay then I guess you could argue that it doesn’t matter, but if the club lose those players perhaps many supporters will view things differently?