Supporters Club launches urgent appeal

Supporters Club launches urgent appeal

The Supporters Club has launched an appeal and is asking all Port Vale fans if they can help.

The full statement reads:


AUGUST 7, 2012

Port Vale Supporters’ Club has issued an urgent appeal for fans to muck-in and help to prepare Vale Park ready for the new season.

It comes amid further delays to the takeover of the club which have resulted in some preparatory work not being done ahead of pre-season friendlies and the kick-off of the competitive season next week.

In addition, the club has been ordered to carry out additional safety work on the stadium by the local authority which had not been requested in previous years.

The Supporters’ Club is now working closely with Port Vale staff to prepare Vale Park for the new season.

Volunteers are needed urgently for general duties including sweeping up, cleaning seats, painting toilet walls, checking that all seats are correctly numbered, adding season ticket stickers to seats and possibly helping the ticket office out with preparation and distribution of season tickets.

Additionally an appeal has gone out for tradespeople willing to offer services or donate materials.

Volunteers and tradespeople are needed Thursday and Friday, August 9 and 10, from 8am to 4pm, and Saturday, August 11 from 9am to 1pm. Fans can also help out between Monday and Friday of next week between 8am and 4pm.

Volunteers assisting with the sweeping and cleaning are asked to bring along additional brushes and large refuse bags if possible to ensure all are able to help.

Anyone wishing to help should contact Supporters’ Club Chairman Pete Williams directly on 07522 679886 or report to the Railway Paddock entrance of Vale Park during the dates and times listed and seek out groundsman Steve Speed or another member of the club’s staff. If you’re unable to find a member of staff then please call the club’s reception on 01782 655800 to ask for guidance.

Speaking after a well-attended fans’ meeting last night (Mon), Mr Williams said: “More than 50 fans have already put their names down to help out and I am sure many more will heed the call.

“It is, of course, deeply frustrating that Keith Ryder’s takeover has not been completed and negotiations will no doubt continue with him and other parties in the coming days.

“However, our priority now has to be to offer all the assistance we can to club staff in order that we can get Vale Park ready for Saturday’s friendly against Tranmere Rovers and Tuesday night’s cup game.”

Mr Williams told last night’s meeting that preferred-bidder Mr Ryder had contacted the Supporters’ Club out of the blue at 6pm to say that due to ‘extreme personal circumstances’ he had been unable to complete the Port Vale takeover deal as yet.

Mr Williams said that Mr Ryder apologised for not communicating his difficulties and said to tell fans that he was hoping to complete the deal by the end of the week.

Administrators Bob Young and Steve Currie, who attended last night’s meeting, said they had had a similar conversation with Mr Ryder and that, although they were continuing to talk to other parties interested in buying Port Vale, they were keeping the door open for Mr Ryder at this stage

At last night’s meeting Mr Young said that after careful consideration the administrators were minded to tell the Football League that Port Vale could be run as a going concern by themselves while the search for a buyer continues.

Mr Young said, however, this could only happen if Vale attracted average home crowds of 5,000. Last season’s average was 4,800.

The administrators confirmed that the club has so far sold around 3,000 season tickets which will be posted out later this week.

At last night’s meeting it was also revealed that the administrators had signed a kit deal with Vandanel including a short-term shirt sponsorship arrangement.

The Supporters’ Club told fans it had spent (or committed to spend) around 15,000 of the money donated by fans through collections at the end of last season on everything from coaches, hotel accommodation for players, players’ meals and grass seeds for the pitch. Just under 15k remains at this stage.

Mr Young agreed at last night’s meeting that the Supporters’ Club could finally erect the Roy Sproson statue (on a match day at a date to be arranged) and gave an undertaking that it would remain the property of the Supporters’ Club irrespective of the situation with regard to the ownership of Port Vale.

Mr Williams added: “I hope people went away from the meeting feeling a bit more positive. It has been an extremely difficult time for everyone connected with Port Vale. Make no bones about it, the club is still in extreme difficulties.

“However, there is cause for optimism and now really is the time to pull together, to set aside any differences and start helping the club in practical ways as well as by supporting them with season tickets and on the turnstiles.

“The situation could be much worse. We still have a club to support going into the new season and it is down to the supporters to show the administrators, the Football League and potential buyers the great potential Port Vale has.

“If you’re a Vale supporter your club needs you now more than ever.”

The Supporters’ Club, which now boasts a membership of more than 1,600 fans.

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