In their latest update to shareholders, administrators of the former Port Vale regime, Begsbie Traynor, say they are approaching new solicitors to discuss action against Perry Deakin and Peter Miller.
Bob Young and Steve Currie are the joint liquidators in charge of Port Vale (Valiant 2001) Football Club Limited and issued a report to update shareholders – which include many Vale fans who purchased shares in the club.
One of the main greivances of shareholders was the actions of former board members Perry Deakin and Peter Miller who both acquired £350,000 of shares without paying for them. In January 2013, after the company had been liquidated it was announced that there was the possibility of beginning bankruptcy proceedings against Deakin and Miller. The action would be in light of neither person apparently making any effort to pay for their ‘nil-paid’ shares.
Sadly, any action against the Deakin and Miller still looks very unlikely – as one firm of solicitors has already advised the group that they do not believe it would be “commercial” [presumably the report means “commercially valid”] to “pursue a claim.”
However, the report does state that after the initial firm of solicitors said a successful claim was unlikely that “we have therefore held meetings with a different firm of solicitors who have carried out an initial review of the records available and are willing to act on a contingent basis in relation to their costs [presumably this is a No Win No Fee action] in respect of potential actions against directors and former directors.”
The report adds: “Furthermore the new firm of solicitors has called a meeting with their Counsel in order to seek their opinion on the likelihood of any successful claims against any of the parties. This meeting will take place in late September 2016. We shall update creditors in our next report.”
So while any action does still appear unlikely to succeed, aggrieved Vale shareholders can at least hold a slim hope that the new firm of solicitors will decide that a claim does have a chance of success.
The board that nearly killed Port Vale FC....The "MOLD" (Miller, Oliver, Lloyd and Deakin) board (2011-2012) came perilously close to destroying Port Vale FC. Only the goodwill of Stoke-on-Trent city council, the hard work of the Port Vale supporters club and administrators Begsbies-Traynor prevented the club being wound-up.
MOLD showed little regard for Vale fans, deceiving shareholders with the "nil-paid shares" deception, re-mortgaging Vale Park and in process breaking the terms of the loan with Stoke-on-Trent city council while Miller and Deakin both drew large salaries which the cash-strapped club could not sustain.
Perry Deakin and Peter Miller were involved in the nil-paid shares controversy that infuriated supporters. In essence, during their attempt to join the board, the pair wrote to supporters saying that they had "purchased" £350,000 worth of shares and sought election on that basis.
But it was soon revealed by the Sentinel newspaper that neither man had paid for their shares and despite promises that payment would be forthcoming, there was no evidence of any money ever being handed to the club. In effect, Deakin and Miller secured election to the Port Vale board without any money coming in to the club accounts.
Miller invoked a storm of criticism when, despite being the first Vale chairman to draw a salary (over £100,000 per year and a rented Mercedes car), he failed to complete a reported "multi-million" investment in the club by Blue Sky Turf. Miller also arranged a remortgage of Vale Park in contravention of the rules of the club's existing loan with Stoke city council.
Deakin was involved in the Supporters Club being locked out of their meeting venue (he later claimed this was a misunderstanding, despite evidence proving the meeting had been pre-booked), refusing to sanction club hospitality to the legendary Sproson family (whose members have made over 1,000 Port Vale appearances) on the eve of the unveiling of the Roy Sproson statue, a bitter dispute with non-league neighbours Nantwich (after which Deakin admitted that Port Vale were in the wrong), agreeing to the remortgage of Vale Park by Peter Miller, disputes with both shirt sponsors and the programme publishers.
But most damning of all both were key members of the board which took the club into administration and perilously close to extinction.
Recently, the club's administrators Begsbies-Traynor, who were in charge of the club during 2012, announced that investigations into the "nil-paid shares" issue were continuing.
Administrator Steve Currie said in November 2012 that: "We recognise that the actions of the previous directors are of concern to fans – many of whom have lost out as a result of their investment in shares in Valiant 2001 – and we are doing everything we can to assist the police in their investigations. We continue to look at a number of areas where we may be able to recover funds – including the issuing of 'nil-paid' shares. These investigations are ongoing and the details cannot be made public at this time."
In January 2013, it was announced that there was the possibility of beginning bankruptcy proceedings against Deakin and Miller. The action would be in light of neither person apparently making any effort to pay for their 'nil-paid' shares.
Many Vale fans are still angry with the antics of the "MOLD" board and will be anxious to prevent any other football club having to go through the same torment that Port Vale FC fans went through.