Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite says he is looking to add experienced and quality players to the squad as he looks for a “Plan B”.
Smurthwaite said in the summer that if things did not go to plan he would resort to a Plan B in the summer.
In a wide-ranging interview on BBC Radio Stoke, the Vale owner said that “Plan B” does not involve changing the manager (although he did appear to hint that Bruno Ribeiro had two games to save his job) but would involve bringing in high-quality players from the top leagues.
He commented that: “Plan B would be bringing in now, seasoned, higher grade, i.e. Championship or Premiership strikers in particular, or players to complement the spine, build on the spine and actually give us something which can actually score goals which is what alters the outcome of football games.”
“Of course results dictate at the end of the day the lifespan of a manager. It is very unfair to judge him today. Having said that I have watched every game, as I have done since I have bought the club, and the away form is… I can’t think of the appropriate words.
“It has only been our home within reason that has actually kept us in a reasonable place in the table until the last couple of weeks. Plan B was triggered about three weeks ago and the fans will get to know about it in early January. Some they may not like but a lot of it I think they will embrace and applaud and hopefully support.”
OVF comment – signs of Plan B back in October
At the start of the season, chairman Norman Smurthwaite gave manager Bruno Ribeiro a stark ultimatum. His squad, with many continental additions, needed to be challenging for promotion by Christmas or the owner would resort to “Plan B.”
It may lead fans to speculate – perhaps plan B is already in operation?
Smurthwaite is clearly determined to have Vale in promotion contention this season and it is widely understood that the “Plan B” would involve bringing in experienced, high quality players who have the experience that some of the foreign signings may be lacking.
Two of the club’s most recent signings – 32 year-old Ryan Taylor (over 100 Premier League games) and 29 year-old Martin Paterson (over 200 Championship games) now join 33 year-old Jerome Thomas (over 100 Premier League games) in the Vale squad…