Port Vale came close to adding midfielder Chris Burns to their squad in a swap deal which is mired in confusion…
About Nearly Men
This is an occasional OVF series about transfer moves that failed to materialise. In other words, players who perhaps in a parallel universe would have been playing for the Valiants… It covers failed Vale bids for the likes of Steve Bull, Keith Gillespie and Tom Finney
OK. Bear with us. This is a tricky one.
We recently read an article in the Portsmouth News newspaper with former Pompey midfielder Chris Burns. He recalls:
“I was transfer listed and Port Vale were interested, so I went there for two weeks for them to have a look at me, with Ian Bogie coming in the opposite direction.
‘A swap deal plus money was agreed with Jim Smith if both players impressed. Port Vale manager John Rudge decided he wanted to complete the deal – only for Pompey to then double the price and it fell through.
“Then I went on loan to Division Two Swansea.”
Now there’s some problems with that statement. Burns joined Swansea on loan in December 1993 and as Ian Bogie wasn’t at Vale until 1995, he couldn’t have been the player involved in the potential swap. Could it be that Burns got the name wrong and the journalist, not familiar with the Port Vale squad of that time, didn’t notice? It’s likely.
A discussion on the OVF forum puts forward another Vale player’s name (our thanks to OVF user Santa) Midfielder Paul Kerr was in contract dispute with the club at the time and he could have been the player. It makes sense as, like Burns, Kerr was an attacking midfielder who liked to join the attack. It would be a like-for-like move.
Whoever it was, the move never transpired and Burns became another of the Vale nearly men.