Stoke-on-Trent city council have justified their decision to help Port Vale FC into administration. Council leader Mohammed Pervez said that not acting could have “meant the immediate end to Port Vale FC and 130 years of history.”
The council were also at pains to reiterate that the club’s future is still far from certain, but that they have agreed to pay £500,000 to cover the club’s running costs, including players’ wages, for the next three months, while a further £100,000 will meet the cost of administration.
Meanwhile, as major creditors, the council are considering legal guarantees to ensure Vale Park is not sold off or used for anything other than football by any new owners.
Mr Pervez told the Sentinel: “The stark choice we faced was liquidation or administration. Liquidation would have meant the immediate end to Port Vale FC and 130 years of history.
“Throughout this process we have always kept our focus on protecting the public purse while trying to safeguard the future of Port Vale.
“We need to make it clear we’ve opened a window of opportunity, but we will still need to find an investor who is able offer a viable and sustainable future for the club.
“Without this, liquidation could well be on the table again.
“The administrator will talk to potential investors and they will make a recommendation.
“The council does have a veto and depending on what options are brought forward will determine whether we use that power.
“The club is in a time of need and I would ask fans, local communities and businesses in the city to rally round.”
The High Court has heard a city council application to appoint Bob Young, Steve Currie and Gerald Krasner of Begbies Traynor as joint administrators from Friday. Once administration is confirmed the club will suffer a 10-point Football League penalty, and Vale’s remaining board members – Mike Lloyd, Perry Deakin and Glenn Oliver – will relinquish control of the club.
Supporters’ Club chairman Pete Williams added: “We thank the city council for their help. We will support the administrators by requesting our members get through the gates and do as much fund-raising as possible to get through this difficult time.”