Smurthwaite not ruling out selling club but keeping ground

Norman Smurthwaite says that he would be expecting around £4m for Port Vale FC but he would be prepared to sell the club for a smaller amount and renting the Vale Park stadium to the new owners.

Smurthwaite will be looking to recoup the £3m he estimates he has invested into the club in the last three years, on top of the £1.25m he paid for the Valiants. He told the Sentinel: “I have never lost money on a transaction in my adult life and I am not starting now.”

The football club and Vale Park were split into separate companies when Smurthwaite and his then business partner Paul Wildes bought the club and Smurthwaite told the newspaper that he could offer buyers the choice to purchase the football club and he would remain owner of Vale Park.

He explained: “There is a covenant in place insisted on by the Football League. In the event that the club is sold separately from the ground it would trigger a 25-year rental lease at a set rent that is considerably less than the market value.”

However, splitting the club from its prime asset – the Vale Park stadium – would no doubt alarm many supporters.

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