Neighbours to ground-share at Vale Park?

Neighbours to ground-share at Vale Park?

In a generous gesture by owner Norman Smurthwaite, Port Vale are set to offer the use of Vale Park to crisis-hit non-league neighbours Norton United.

Norton have been hit by a dispute over the use of their Community Drive ground – a dispute that has lead to the resignation of chairman Steve Beaumont.

But Smurthwaite is set to allow Norton to use Vale Park to fulfill this season’s fixtures as long as it doesn’t damage the Vale Park pitch.

What I am proposing to do – subject to certain people ticking certain boxes – is for Norton to play at Vale Park until the end of the season…

Smurthwaite told BBC Radio Stoke: “What I am proposing to do – subject to certain people ticking certain boxes – is for Norton to play at Vale Park until the end of the season. They are an integral part of the community.

“Steve Speed needs to be satisfied he can get the best pitch for our home league games but we are looking at about seven to 11 that Norton could use Vale Park as their home venue.

“I don’t see this as a revenue exercise for Port Vale. What I am hoping for is that if we bring their [Norton] home games to Vale Park more people would come and watch and it will be great for them to have bigger gates.”