Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite has played down reports of taking over Torquay United after he put Port Vale up for sale.
Reports in the West Country have linked Smurthwaite with a possible takeover and the Vale owner was at Saturday’s game at Torquay.
His name has been linked with possible investment or even a takeover at Plainmoor since last summer.
The Western Daily press claims that:
- Smurthwaite plans to move to Devon when he retires
- He has been linked with investment or a takeover since the summer
- Earlier this year he even sounded out the Football League about their response should he make a bid for Torquay while he was still in the process of selling the Valiants.
The newspaper quotes Smurthwaite as saying: “The League has killed that [move for Torquay] now, although if someone bought Port Vale, it would be a different situation.”
Smurthwaite also said he was at the game on Saturday because: “I came down at the weekend to see the team play, to see how young Nathan [Smith – on loan from Vale] was playing and to see if there was anything I could do to help.”
Smurthwaite added: “The people there are very new in the job, with little real experience of football, both on and off the park.
“Torquay United is a great little club in a great area, and there are plenty of people, both in that part of the world and outside, who would help them. I know that Exeter and Plymouth, for a start, would want to help. But there has got to be a desire to listen to advice and a willingness to accept help which is being offered genuinely. They need to take some very serious corrective moves to tackle the financial challenges which the club faces and then to take it forward.”
“The gates there are remarkable, given what’s been happening, and the Torquay fans can and must play a huge part. I believe that I could make a difference in other circumstances, but I am sorry that it’s not possible at the moment.”