Ryan Lloyd came out on top as his side Chester City defeated Nathan Smith’s Torquay Utd side on Saturday – but the game was overshadowed by off-field events at Torquay.
Both Vale players are on loan and both started the game which finished in a thumping 4-1 win for Chester.
However, after the game, controversy reigned at Torquay in scenes reminiscent of Vale’s internal strife when the Valiant 2001 and MOLD boards were in place and subject to increasing criticism from disgruntled fans online.
The result meant that Torquay have now gone eight league games without a win and the Torqay social media sites were full of criticism, rumours and speculation on the crisis club.
After the game, Torquay boss Kevin Nicholson submitted a lengthy Facebook postinge criticising former manager Paul Cox’s signings and claimed that many players were on “less than the minimum wage” and that it is difficult to motivate players when they “can’t afford to put petrol in their cars.” Nicholson also criticised “keyboard warriors” who are “very brave on Forums and Facebook.”
Torquay’s board posted an official statement which may cast doubt on Nicholson’s tenure at the club as it promised to look at “ways in which we can improve matters.”
The online criticism may bring back unhappy memories for Vale fans. In the early days of the campaign to expose board failings at Vale Park, much of the criticism of the board was published online without any backing from the local media.
At the time, the media was reluctant to join in the criticism of the Vale board and online fans suffered abuse both from the club and from other fans who believed Vale forums were simply stirring up trouble. Ultimately, the people who raised the issues online were vindicated as a series of revelations proved that the then-board’s motives were highly questionable.
As members of one football family, we’re sure Vale fans will be hoping that Torquay solve their problems quickly and don’t suffer the many months of turmoil that we experienced at Vale Park.