Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite says he has been left with a “daunting task” as he reiterates that he will only sell the club to owners who have the good of the club at heart.
In an email conversation with OVF, which he is happy for OVF to publish Smurthwaite told this website that:
- He has a duty of care to sell the club to an organisation that has the good of the club at heart and that has left him with a “daunting task” to sell the club.
- The prospectus from the Norwegian group “was being revised because their valuations were too optimistic”.
- One of the amends to the prospectus would be the removal of player agent Saide Moussallati who had been responsible for some summer player recruitment. According to Smurthwaite, Moussallati’s poor relationship with then manager Bruno Ribeiro had resulted in the group “walking away” during their first period of exclusivity (although they have now come back with a revised bid).
- Another interested party from Boston has raised £10.3m in funds and are also interested in taking over the club although, like the Norwegian group they are a hedge fund and have yet to provide proposals on their plans for the club.
- Smurthwaite also claimed he forwarded details of the Norwegian proposal to three fans including prominent fan Jean Jackson and OVF founder Rob Fielding. He says he doesn’t think that either Jackson or Fielding then passed the information to the Sentinel newspaper. Smurthwaite says an email he received from the third, unnamed fan confirmed that they had forwarded it to two other supporters to review, and it was one of these who passed the information to the Sentinel newspaper.
- The Port Vale owner also reiterated that the club remained up for sale and would remain so.
- Finally, Smurthwaite said he would consider a number of family-based initiatives that were suggested via email by OVF founder Rob Fielding.