The OVF editor is encouraged by the progress made by CEO Colin Garlick but he still believes the long-term goal should still be new ownership.
Rob Fielding writes…
It’s only weeks into the Colin Garlick regime but already the signs are encouraging.
It’s encouraging for Vale fans that off the pitch things seem to be less unpredictable and heading in the right direction…
This website has been arguing for some years that Norman Smurthwaite needed to allow the club to be controlled by an experienced CEO and after a first season where Garlick was invisible and appeared to be “CEO” in name only, he has finally come to the fore and shown his quality.
This summer, Garlick has been in attendance at Supporters Club meetings, listened to suggestions and announced both a reduction in price and an extended early bird period for season tickets. Sensibly, he seems to have renewed cordial relationships with the Sentinel after the unseemly spat between Norman Smurthwaite and the local paper.
So it’s encouraging for Vale fans that off the pitch things seem to be less unpredictable and heading in the right direction.
However, the long-term future still appears uncertain and many fans will worry how long Norman’s self-imposed move into the background will last. Will he be able to resist the temptation to be at the helm if the club has a strong start to the season? Will he really leave every footballing decision to the seemingly capable hands of Colin Garlick?
Norman Smurthwaite does deserve some praise for appointing Garlick in the first place but the long-term the view of many Vale fans remains that the owner needs to name a sensible asking price for the club and to open negotiations with parties such as Synectics Solutions and/or Manorshop.
Clubs benefit from sensible, long-term planning not the erratic and often unpredictable times we have often endured…
I worry that Vale’s fanbase is an ageing one, that apathy is adversely affecting attendances and I am a firm believer that clubs benefit from sensible, long-term planning not the erratic and often unpredictable times we have often endured under Norman Smurthwaite.
I think that new owners (providing that they are the right people, have the right reasons for buying the club and have deep pockets) can build on the good work and foundations that the present CEO has put in place.
However, only Norman Smurthwaite can decide on his asking price and who he speaks to.
I just hope that following his decision to step down as chairman and to hand the reigns to Colin Garlick he continues this vein of good decision making and makes a genuine effort to sell the club to the right people at the right price.