A vital meeting held with the current Chairman and board revealed more details about the club’s financial situation and the bidders aiming to take over the club.
The main talking point was the possible last-minute interest of an Arab Sheik who was allegedly pledging £5m to take the club into the higher leagues.
The Monday night meeting was well-attended by Valiant 2001 members and the local press.
Initially, there was some discontent by some fans that the board had not revealed the club’s financial difficulties at a previous meeting. The board replied that with the club in a strong league position, the possibility of a good cup run may have brought revenue into the club without the need to undertake another supporters appeal.
The meeting moved onto the subject of the potential investors in the club.
Two of the five bids would be unlikely to be accepted as they appeared to be linked to property developers. Those parties were believed to be the Woodford Group and the Smith and Bhutia bid.
Vice-Chairman Charles Machin revealed that his preferred bidder was Vantis Sport, although reservations remain about whether the group are acting on behalf of a third party.
Chairman Bill Bratt explained that his support was for a anonymous Port Vale supporter, who was known to the Vale supremo. The Vale fan wished to purchase the remaining 51% stake in the club for £250,000.
The ‘mystery fifth bidder’ was revealed as an ‘Arab businessman’ who wished to invest £5m into the club. However, the actual identity of the bid still remained unconfirmed at the time of the meeting. This news was greeted with a mixture of disbelief and suspicion by fans.
The board announced that board members had pledged a further £20,000 to the club, while a plea for more shares from the fans brought a good response in the form of pledges from those present.
The board revealed that if they could reach their target of £500,000 supporters shares then that would free a £50,000 payment from the league. If the board could then present a reasonable cash-flow projection for the rest of the season, that would also trigger a further £50,000 league payment.
(thanks to Gerry Fielding and Ian Wallbank for providing the information from this meeting)