Positives (not negatives) for Norman’s honest statement

Positives (not negatives) for Norman’s honest statement

OVF editor Rob Fielding is full of praise for Norman Smurthwaite’s statement despite what some readers may think…

Rob Fielding writes…

As I’ve been bizarrely accused of being “negative” simply because of the inclusion of some statistics in a news article (yeah, you tell me…) I’d like to start this off with a simple sentence.

I applaud Norman Smurthwaite’s latest statement.

Is that clear?

Good.

The mere issuing of the statement will have done the club a power of good. Football clubs who ignore their fans are treading on thin ice…

The mere issuing of the statement will have done the club a power of good. Football clubs who ignore their fans are treading on thin ice. While it’s not possible for businesses to pander to every whim and fancy of their supporters, I believe that when legitimate concerns are raised, a clear and honest response always works best.

And yes, I feel this response is both “clear and honest”and I also think it will work wonders at restoring some of the goodwill between fans and the club’s owner.

In many ways, the statement shows that Vale is a “work in progress” but surely that’s to be expected? Norman has done a lot of good things in a short space of time, but he acknowledges that there is still work to be done.

I think Mr Smurthwaite is correct in his condemnation of a “mindless few”, he’s correct to back the police with the caveat of explaining how a complaint can be made and he’s correct that the Valiants should aim to be a community club. I also think it was right to clarify the situation for former players at the club.

I am pleased that better communications and customer service are a priority…

I am pleased that better communications and customer service are a priority and as I’ve commented in previous columns, I think that has to be the right approach for a “community club”.

Now, a personal view…

While I can see the chairman is being open and mentions “How many other Chairmen in this division can be contacted directly on twitter or via the club’s website?” I would suggest that Twitter is not the correct medium for two-way dialogue. But that, I guess, is up to the individual. It still remains that the chairman wants to be approachable and that, in itself, has to be applauded.

And just before I am taken to task for being negative with my previous paragraph, may I stress again that…

I applaud Norman Smurthwaite’s latest statement.

Up the Vale!

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