Port Vale have decided not to open the Railway stand to away supporters for the controversial Checkatrade Trophy clash against Stoke City U21 side.
There has been a marked difference in interest to the game from both sets of fans. Stoke have sold out the away stand while Vale fans, angry at changes to the competition, have yet to sell a thousand tickets. The complete sell-out of the away end had led Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite to consider opening another stand for away fans but he has now decided not to.
I can understand the issues Port Vale have got but a very good point was put to me that if this were an FA Cup tie then the away club gets an allocation and, once they are sold, that’s it…
Mark Porter, chair of the Port Vale Supporters Club, told the Sentinel newspaper: “I have spoken to Norman and gone away and asked supporters for their feelings on this. Ninety five per cent wanted the Railway open for Vale fans.
“I can understand the issues Port Vale have got but a very good point was put to me that if this were an FA Cup tie then the away club gets an allocation and, once they are sold, that’s it.
“If we are going to play away at Spurs and sold 3,000 tickets then we wouldn’t get another stand.”
Porter added: “The competition has been thrown to the dogs by the absolutely ridiculous rule of allowing academy teams in. No supporters are for that.
“This is not a Potteries derby, let’s make no mistake about that.”