A welcome move, but it’s not all over yet

A welcome move, but it’s not all over yet

In his latest “One Vale View” column, Rob Fielding says former Chairman Bill Bratt is wrong if he thinks simply resigning as Port Vale Chairman will “unite” the fans.

Fielding argues that merely changing titles from Chairman to Director will not appease the pro-change movement who want all three Directors to leave the boardroom.

If Bill Bratt thinks his decision to resign as Chairman will simply “unite” the fans, I believe he’s in for a shock.

Bratt resigned as Chairman on Friday and told the Sentinel he hoped this move would “unite” the fans.

But if Mr Bratt was aware of the guiding principles of Black and Gold and Starve ‘Em Out campaigns, then he would know that simply moving posts from chairman to director would never appease disenfranchised fans.

These fans believe that following a vote of no confidence at the EGM and years of underachievement, the whole board needs to leave the club.

The campaign was not solely about Mr Bratt’s chairmanship, or against him personally, although that has been a cause of criticism in recent months. No, the pro-change groups have a much wider agenda – they want the entire board to go so that better people can be appointed – people who, rather than concentrating on securing their own positions, can bring fresh investment into the club (as the Valiant 2001 group was originally set up to do).

I know Bill Bratt has not been in the best of health recently, and he now wants to spend more time with his family. That’s undertandable and I hope this is the right move to restore him to full health. Time will be the best judge of whether his chairmanship was a success or not although I, for one, will always bear him some gratitude for his role in taking over the club after administration.

However, I would suggest that if Bill wants a stress-free and relaxing time with his family, he should remove himself from the boardroom entirely. Only that move will stop the peaceful protests against him and his boardroom colleagues.

Changing titles from chairman to director shows the pressure from the pro-change groups is definitely working, but although it’s a welcome step in the right direction, the pro-change end game will not be reached until all three directors leave the boardroom.


About the author: Rob Fielding has been a Port Vale fan for thirty years. He founded the award-winning onevalefan.co.uk website in 1996. These are his personal views and he welcomes your comments on them.

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