Adams contract should be no.1 priority

Adams contract should be no.1 priority

OVF editor Rob Fielding thinks that the club should be looking to “secure Micky Adams future first and foremost.”

Rob Fielding writes…

I think he’s done as well as possibly any Vale manager in recent times, including the great John Rudge. As a huge Rudge fan, that counts as high praise…

I have been a fairly recent convert to Micky Adams. I was slow to warm to him at first, but over the last eighteen months, I think he’s done as well as possibly any Vale manager in recent times, including the great John Rudge. As a huge Rudge fan, that counts as high praise.

Adams’ fortitude and professionalism during the “administration to promotion” season really deserves wider acclaim throughout the game, while this season has clearly exceeded most expectations. I therefore concur with the majority view that Adams’ contract really needs to be sorted sooner rather than later.

It’s common knowledge that Vale’s players have massive respect for their boss – the quotes at the end of last season echoed that sentiment again and again – and if Vale were to lose their manager it would be a catastrophic error. Lose the manager and we could also lose some of the players. Or even worse – lose the manager and lose our place in League One.

I realise that budgets will probably be tighter next season, that’s a given, but I do think there should be some pre-planning here rather than leave everything to the end of the season (and contracts). Even the previous “Valiant 2001” regime used to begin key contract negotiations in February/March time. So, I would draw up a list of the key figures that the club wants to have next season and sit down with them between now and the end of the season. For me those would be:

First priority…

  • Micky Adams

Then key players due to be out of contract. Personally, my six essentials would be…

  • Chris Neal
  • Chris Lines
  • Doug Loft
  • Jennison Myrie-Williams
  • Carl Dickinson
  • Jordan Hugill

But I would be looking to secure Micky Adams future first and foremost. We may have to pay him what he deserves and that may then determine how much we have to spend on the rest of the squad. If that means a smaller squad size but keeping Micky Adams, well… I’d take that, thank you!

I appreciate it’s Norman Smurthwaite’s club and he has his own way of doing things… He’s also said he wants to keep Micky Adams, so I sincerely hope that something concrete is agreed before the summer.

I appreciate it’s Norman Smurthwaite’s club and he has his own way of doing things. I respect that as he’s put his money in, he’s entitled to those views. But he’s also said he wants to keep Micky Adams, so I sincerely hope that something concrete is agreed before the summer.

Personally, I would snap your hand off if by the end of the season, we had Adams signed up and four of the above six key players on new contracts (I am realistic to understand that not everyone will stay).

I don’t think you can take the risk of holding off on contract talks. Players like Lines, Neal and Myrie-Williams will be in demand and I think we need to tie them down in the months between the closing of the January transfer window and its re-opening in May. This would be the ideal period – no other clubs can make official bids and the players are still under contract.

But it’s pointless talking to the players before the manager and so for me, those talks with Micky Adams are vital. Only Adams and Smurthwaite know how close the pair are to agreeing a contract.

I know the chairman has said that the club must become more “self-sufficient” and for that to work; fans will need to pay out either for season tickets or on the gate. The Football League Fair Play regulations mean that income from the fans is increasingly important.

Put simply, there’s an awful lot riding on Adams’ future, both players and a proportion of the supporters will not be in Vale Park next season if he goes…

However, I would think that any Adams exit from Vale Park would have a catastrophic effect on those season ticket sales, wheras the news of a new contract being agreed before season ticket prices are announced would probably have the opposite effect.

Put simply, there’s an awful lot riding on Adams’ future, both players and a proportion of the supporters will not be in Vale Park next season if he goes.

For the club’s sake, I just hope something is agreed before the season’s ends.

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