Commenting on the OVF forum, Port Vale chairman Norman Smurthwaite has firmly denied that manager Rob Page would have faced the sack if Vale had lost their FA Cup replay against Maidenhead United.
Fanzine Derek I’m Gutted claimed that they had been told that Smurthwaite would inform broadcasters BT Sport (who were televising the game) of Page’s sacking after the game should Vale be knocked out.
My anger after the FA Cup home game was noted and anything other than a resounding win on the replay was articulated to all…
But when asked a direct question by an OVF user on the onevalefan.uk forum, Smurthwaite denied that it was the case.
User mr.hobblesworth asked: “Were you planning on sacking Page live on air if we lost [to Maidenhead] and had you already lined up another manager?”
Smurthwaite replied: “No and no.”
The owner also said that he was pleased with recent performances with the “exception of the FA Cup fiasco” [referring to Vale’s poor 1-1 draw in the first game against Maidenhead] and also commenting that “My anger after the FA Cup home game was noted and anything other than a resounding win on the replay was articulated to all.”
Smurthwaite also said that the Vale players had been offered an overnight stay in a hotel which he owned after the Maidenhead game.