Former winger Chris Birchall says that the loss of the “nucleus of the squad” has contributed to Port Vale’s poor season.
The winger was one of a number of departures in the summer and he posted on his Facebook page that: “Shame to see what’s happening on the pitch but it was a big risk, since 2013 the squad was very good.
“Eleven players out of contract at the end of last season all personally wanted to stay and I know that for a fact. Ten of us left and were forced away from the club due to 40/50% cuts but that’s business and have to accept that and move on.
“Fifteen- sixteen new foreign signings came in. Some on a lot more money a week than ones that had left and not half as good or anywhere near as experienced.
“Once the nucleus of any squad leaves then the team spirit takes a while to be replaced and what we had for the past three years had that in abundance. Fans aren’t daft they see this, and the grass isn’t always greener. Give me last year’s squad any day!”