Robbie Williams, if you’ve taken the commitment (some may say responsibility) to buy shares, you’ve got to continue to honour that commitment and take a stand on club issues.
Back in 2001, I was approached to write an article for the Guardian. I decided to use the opportunity to appeal to Robbie Williams to take more of an interest in the club.
I stated: “for a publicity-hungry pop star you seem to have a done a pretty good job of shying away from your association with Port Vale.”
At the time he held no investment in the club and seemingly (in my eyes, at least) little interest in affairs on the pitch. Meanwhile, the club headed for financial meltdown.
Since then, it could be argued only one of those three things has changed.
Robbie has at least come good financially.
Under current club rules he’s got as many shares as is possible. Fair play.
According to many observers, even with Robbie’s shareholding, the club could soon be in dire straits. The club continues to make loss after loss, council loan payments are due and the loan itself borrowed on a ground valuation that seems to defy a nationwide decline in property value.
So, given the club’s current predicament, is buying shares and keeping mum on the all-consuming ownership debate good enough?
Sorry, Robbie. But it’s not. To grab another quote from my 2001 Guardian article “we’re a bit worried about you.”
Robbie, if you’ve taken the commitment (some may say responsibility) to buy shares, you’ve got to continue to honour that commitment and take a stand on club issues. Your 24.9% shareholding and its well-publicised proxy vote to the board’s views is the only thing giving this board a majority.
Do you really want to be remembered as the shareholder that single-handedly kept this hugely unpopular board in power?
So, the time has now come for Robbie to jump off the fence.
Whether that is on the side of the board or the side of the Black and Gold movement for change is for Robbie alone to decide. But right now, having no views, is not an acceptable option. Apathy could spell disaster for this club.
Robbie, just like in 2001, this club needs you. It needs you to end your silence and pick which side you’re going to be on.
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.