Wildes plans to relay pitch and complete Lorne St stand

In a wide-ranging phone-in on BBC Radio Stoke, Port Vale chairman Paul Wildes told fans that the club planned to relay the Vale Park pitch and also complete the unfinished half of the Lorne Street stand.

Link: Click here to listen again to the programme

These notes were made on a crowded commuter train using an unreliable Internet connection. To the best of his knowledge, this is what Rob noted down and he apologises if any of the following is incorrect.

On the Vale Park Ground:

  • The pitch will be relaid for the first time in Vale Park’s history
  • The unfinished half of the Lorne St stand will become a “family” stand
  • The concourse (in the family stand) will sell family-orientated refreshments rather than beer
  • Entertainment (such as games consoles and entertainers) will also be used in that area
  • The Hamil End will remain an away end for police and logistical reasons
  • But the other three areas of the ground will be brought up to the same standards
  • The club are reviewing catering with plans in place to increase the choice and range
On ticketing:
  • A family season ticket will be available
  • The Vale will be the only club in the Football League to offer free entry for under-12s
  • Fans who cannot attend all games can buy batches of tickets in advance
  • An online ticket website will be launching
  • The focus is on encouraging families and children to come

On commercial matters:

  • A online ticket website and online club shop will be launched soon
  • A club superstore will be housed under the Vale in the Community building off the Hamil Road
  • Research has been undertaken to improve the club merchandise
  • Talks are underway for shirt and stand sponsors

On the kits:

  • A “Wedgwood blue” third kit will be launched
  • The third kit will offer a “unique” ability for fans to have their name sewn into the fabric
  • Orders for the third kit will be available in a few weeks
  • The second kit will pay tribute to legend Roy Sproson
  • The home kit will pay tribute to the heritage of the local area

On training facilities:

  • The first-team now have a “long-term” contract with the FA’s St George’s Park facility
  • Long-term plan is for a “Vale Lodge” to house the development squad
  • The “Vale Lodge” will include undercover, 3G pitches
On the manager and coaches:
  • Further coaches will be added to the payroll
  • A fitness coach will be employed
  • The club has had (and turned down) multiple approaches for Micky Adams
  • The club “has one of the best managers in the Football League”

On long-term aims:

  • On the playing side, the long-term planning involves the development squad
  • To compete in the Championship against clubs with bigger budgets, the development squad is key
  • The development squad idea is to bring in players who will be ready for the first-team in 2/3 years
  • There is a “ten year” plan
  • Club will aim to secure key players/staff on long-term contracts

OVF would like to congratulate Lee Blakeman for an excellent programme and thank Paul Wildes for outlining such exciting plans.

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