Manager Micky Adams says he is simply being “honest” with fans, the club and the media when he says he needs assurances about the club’s budget before discussing a new contract.
Owner Norman Smurthwaite said that a contract would be put in front of the Vale boss and that he was hopeful that it would be signed in the next one or two weeks.
However, Adams’ comments seem to suggest that there may need to be additional talks – which many fans will fear will increase the speculation about the future of the manager and the club’s 14 out-of-contract players.
The manager’s future has been the subject of much speculation throughout most of this season with many fans urging the club to resolve the issue earlier in the year.
Adams told the media after the final home game with Sheffield United that: “I want to build on what we have done here. To build on that you need your better players to sign contracts and you need to bring better players into the club in certain areas we are lacking.
“What you then have to think about is, is there enough money in the budget to do that because if there isn’t, and it is going to be a struggle, then those are the sort of questions that I have to be asking.
“It is not quite as simple as, here is a contract, sign it. I have to sit down with Norman and ask him the questions because he is the only man who knows the answers.”
“I think we have done great this season. I think we needed to push on in January and we could have, but obviously the money wasn’t there so we couldn’t do it.
“I think personally we missed out on an opportunity to do well because I think the nucleus of the squad is there. We needed a few bodies.
“I am not having a go at Norman. How can any of us sit here and judge Norman when he puts his hard-earned money into a football club. He has earned it, he can decide what he wants to do with it.
“But I certainly don’t want to throw all the goodwill and the spirit that we have got at this club by having a season where we are in a relegation battle – if that was the case next season because we haven’t been able to keep our better players and we haven’t got the players in that we wanted to take us to the higher echelons.
“Then the scenario is they [the fans] are not calling for my name after the game because they are happy with me, they are calling for my name because they want me out of here.
“All I am saying is I am very happy at this club at the moment that fans are generally happy with the work I have done and I want that to continue. So there is a lot of talking to be done. That is me being honest with you people [the media], honest with the fans and honest with Norman.”
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The long wait…
Sept 2013: Adams refuses to comment on his contract and hints that he could leave at the end of the season
Sept 2013: An editorial by OVF urges the club to sort out Adams’ contract by the end of 2013 at the latest
Oct 2013: Chairman Norman Smurthwaite claims that he wants Adams to stay
Jan 2014: Adams is linked with the vacant Blackpool manager’s job by some media agencies
Jan 2014: An OVF editorial says that Adams’ contract should be the club’s “number one priority”
Jan 2014: Tom Pope says that the Vale players are desperate for Adams to stay
Jan 2014: Smurthwaite says there should be “something on the table at the end of February, early March”
Feb 2014: Smurthwaite says that initial contract talks with Adams have begun – although a written offer is yet to be made
Feb 2014: Adams says he has yet to see any offer, that Smurthwaite “has to deliver” a contract and if it’s suitable he’s “never expressed a desire to leave”
Mar 2014: Smurthwaite says Adams will sign a deal by the end of the month but Adams says it is more likely to be the end of the season
Apr 2014: Smurthwaite says that “Micky’s contract will be put in front of him” but the manager says he needs further “assurances”