OVF editor Rob Fielding thinks the most crucial decision that could be made this summer concerns selling the club to new owners.
Rob Fielding writes…
So, that’s that. A truly remarkable season, for all the wrong reasons, has ended in relegation. There will now be plenty of inquests, plenty of threads about the manager and which players to keep but for me the most important issue is away from the playing area.
If circa £7m was unrealistic for a League One club then it is even more so for a club that is one division lower…
It’s now surely time for Norman Smurthwaite to reduce his asking price to a realistic one. If circa £7m was unrealistic for a League One club then it is even more so for a club that is one division lower.
Is it also fair to expect new owners to repay Director’s loans that presumably built up because of disastrous experiments such as bringing in Bruno Ribeiro and a host of players, many of whom were clearly not good enough. Without even going into the Football League rules, which strongly suggest that Director’s loans cannot be used to supplement a club’s player wage bill, surely if this was a gamble undertaken solely by the owner then he should be prepared to personally take a loss if it fails to work out.
I am sure many Valiants would agree with Malcolm Hirst’s column when he said that the Vale owner should reduce the asking price and sell to local owners who care about the long-term future of Port Vale FC. I could not agree more.
So any announcements about changes to the way the club is run off-field, any announcements on the manager’s future and any announcement on player retention are all side-shows – the most important thing this summer is that Norman Smurthwaite should lower his asking price and speak to buyers (not hedge funds) who care about the club.