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Reality Check and simple facts


philmpv

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The reality at the moment is that we have a reputation within football as being a very badly run club. I was speakinh to a football agent before Christmas who says we the worst run club he has ever witnessed!!!

 

The past 12 months have been one of the worst i can remember. The fans were insulted, managers treated badly, we had the reputation of the club tarnished (JFH) and we embarked on a suicidal recruitment program.

 

Goinh forward i would like Brown to have a crack but he has a woeful squad to choose from. I doubt even the special one would be able to get us scoring.

 

I am a Vale fan though so i will be there on Saturday as usual.

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Reading through the various recent postings on here, it's fairly obvious (at least to me) that there are some serious expectations of a lot of supporters as to what we should expect from our beloved Vale. However, I think a lot of us (me included) need to sit back from time to time and appreciate just what we are.

 

Fact - We don't have any divine right to be in the Championship. A lot of fans seem to think that we do (at least, that's what I've taken from the constant moaning that we're 'only' mid table, etc). Let's face it, we were spoiled under Rudgie. Apart from those special years, when have we ever been at a higher level and competed. A LONG time ago! Yes, every supporter wants promotion and a challenge near the top of the league every season, but that's not going to happen for 15 odd clubs in our division alone in any given season. We are a lower level team and, barring a lot of things going our way, we will remain so.

 

Fact - Norman is human. He makes mistakes. We all do. If he learns from them, great. If he doesn't, he's the one who'll ultimately suffer, as there's no chance of him getting any of his money back if this Club doesn't succeed. It's his money he's ploughing in, and he's free to do with it what he wishes. Yes, we don't all agree with how he goes about things, or what he spends his money on, but do you see them queuing around the block to invest in the Club? Without Norman, I dare say that we'd be in a LOT worse a position, both on and off the field. He's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and not everyone (or even most) will agree with the way he goes about things, but that's his way and barring Roman Abramovich's mother seeking to invest, we don't have much option. Do people seriously think that he doesn't want what's best for the Club (i.e. promotion) as without it, like I've said, he may as well donate all of his money to the Clinton Foundation.

 

Fact - Our crowds are crap. Without the fans attending, we will continue to have to live within our modest means. Yes, it's a vicious cycle (i.e. without good football, why should the fans pay £23 a pop). It's a case of having too. I'd rather have a Club in 20 years time to support than not. Norman said that he wanted to fill the park and, if that's the case, he'll have to let people in for free (even then, some would still demand their money back because their seats weren't covered in mink fur, or their willy wasn't shaken off after a half time whizz by [iNSERT YOUR SECRET FANCY OF CHOICE])

 

Fact - We don't know what our players are paid, nor what certain players whom we haven't signed wanted, so how can we rant (vehemently in some cases) about how tight Norman is etc? Alex Jones, for example, may have wanted £5k a week, which is clearly not on for a Club of our means. We just don't know. Yet so many supporters spout as if Norman calls them personally to discuss the terms of each players contract. Every signing is a risk that might not pay off, so I don't blame the Club if they're not throwing stupid money around. Look at Yates, crocked for virtually the season just after signing a new contract extension and Andoh, out for the whole of last season. If we did push to boat out and sign, say, 11 Championship players on Championship wages, who's to say that the majority would succeed? It could be the death of the Club.

 

Fact - Who's to say that an 'experienced' journeyman manager is the best thing for us? The fact that they've been around the block invariably means that they will have some glaring failures on their CV, and who's to say we won't be the next such failure. All managers start somewhere, and the next successful manager that we have could be Michael Brown. It may not be, of course, but to me he's certainly understood that, at present, we need to be hard to beat (which he's done so far), as we can't take an attacking approach with the players that we have (our only fit strikers are Reg and young DT), as we'd be on a hiding to nothing if we did. You can say he's only played Chesterfield and Oldham, which is true, and things may change when we play the 'bigger' teams, but why not give the bloke a chance, as we did for Rudgie (before anyone starts, I'm not bigging him up as the next Rudgie)? Do people seriously think that we'll get the likes of Rowett et al here at the moment?

 

Final fact - We all love the Vale, and want the best for the Club. Keep the faith.

 

The sense that us realistic Vale fans share, put across very well.

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I see. Thanks

I sometimes feel those people who have stopped going / are apathetic have given up on port vale not Norman Smurthwaite.

It's extremely difficult, I couldn't stop going / stop caring because of what Norman has done, same as you

 

He (Smurf) has completely drained over 25 years of enthusiasm from me with his mismanagement. He's stumbling from disaster to disaster & I'm getting sick of watching it happen.

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Not a devine right... but a hope, a dream, a wish

 

 

Humans are conditioned from childhood to learn from their mistakes...

 

 

The numbers arent good. It is expensive. Fans are starting to realise that they dont "have to", far better if they want to but at the moment they dont. He could throw the gates open and pay people to come but if its cack he still wouldnt fill the ground. Its far easier to live within your means if you use money wisely rather than throwing it in the bin.

 

 

I dont want to know what they are paid, I dont really care what they are paid

 

Any new manager/player is a gamble thats why you do your research/scouting and try to reduce the risk/minimise the odds

 

Great response

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He (Smurf) has completely drained over 25 years of enthusiasm from me with his mismanagement. He's stumbling from disaster to disaster & I'm getting sick of watching it happen.

 

Don't forget how nasty you were to those more enlightened souls who saw it perhaps just a little earlier than you did.

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Mediocrity if that is what we've come to accept, well most seem to have. That's not good enough. It'll see us relegated if not careful. Gates plummeting now and it'll get worse

We need positivity now, signings now, good messages coming out now.

I'll be forever grateful to Smurf but this season has been a real test of faith.

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The original analysis is fair and accurate however we are still right to question the continuing poor decisions taken over the last couple of years in respect of the strategic management of the club.

 

It is very rare indeed for a manager to resign, Port Vale's last three managers have all resigned, that is virtually unparalleled and makes a strong case for a relationship breakdown and unreasonable interference between the Chairman and the Manager.

 

 

You don't actually believe Bruno resigned off his own back do you?

 

In Smurf's interview after Bruno left he kept saying "it's not nice for a manager to have to find out he's lost his job at xmas".

 

Obviously told to resign or be sacked. Looks better on Bruno's CV to have him "resign".

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Although some fair point were made, this is pretty much the 'little Port Vale' mentality that will see the club either go backwards or stand still at best. Depressing.

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Although some fair point were made, this is pretty much the 'little Port Vale' mentality that will see the club either go backwards or stand still at best. Depressing.

 

Sadly the greed and riches in the Premier League and Championship are killing lower league football.

 

Let's not forget we've been in admin twice in recent years, I think it would be an abomination to do it three times.

 

What the chairman must do is finally appoint a decent long term manager, not someone that does well for a couple of months and then settles for crap.

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A few of my points have already been covered, but the "reality...and simple facts" as I see them are that Smurf is a man who unfortunately, doesn't have a clue how to improve the club. He goes from one idea to the next, with very little sophisticated thought, throws money at the most ridiculous ideas, then moans about how we don't have enough fans. The problem is quite simple. He doesn't have a genuine long term vision for the club. Ultimately he's said his vision is the Championship, but he hasn't got a clue how to get us there. The original post says that fans have unrealistic ambitions. Where do you think those have ambitions have come from? "top 6 by Christmas or plan b" etc etc.

 

I've seen Smurf on twitter again last night embarrassing himself and the club even more. I'm staggered that people still support him. I think I know why they do, but I can't go into detail without being quite offensive, which won't help anything.

 

One of his replies to a fan was, you get me 17000 fans and I'll charge £150 STs, referring to Bradford's model. What this exposes is Smurfs lack of intelligence. I'm not saying we should charge £150 by the way. V2001 introduced the target 5000 scheme and failed to budget and manage it properly. In the end it was a flash in the pan and didn't last more than one season. What Bradford have done is created a consistently affordable method of attracting a new generation of fans. Those 17000 ST holders are now regulars. If they get promoted and prices increase steadily, no doubt most will continue to attend. The higher standard of football may even attract more in the future. Obviously more people attending increasing revenue for other areas of the business; retail, programmes, catering (if managed and stocked sensibly).

 

In reply to another fan he complained about how he offered to buy a prem player 2 years ago if attendances increased, but it failed. He then used that as a reason not to go down that route again. It's those kind of statements that seriously worry me about the man that is running our football club. That clear lack of basic intelligence is staggering. He simply hasn't got a clue about Football fans, and what makes them tick.

 

Unfortunately we're stuck with him. The damage he has caused is clear to see with the year on year reduced attendances, and yet there are still people that blame the fans for not attending. You have to laugh at that kind of mentality. I care so much about the club, sometimes I have to force myself to take a break from it, it gets me so angry watching the fool making such a mess of everything. Life's too short to spend being pi88ed off all the time, so Smurf's actions make people give up on the club.

 

For as long as Smurf continues making mistake after mistake (I don't care where the money comes from, it's the way he spends it that annoys me) he'll carry on losing more and more fans. Some will still blindly support him though. Very strange.

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Reality is we seem to be flapping about like a bed sheet in a gale.

The only objective that seems to have any consistency is "championship football" at some point in the future.

We have no plan for all smurfs alphabet soup mix statements, we have little drive or direction and very little company/brand structure.

We need a leader who knows how to lead from the top

A marketing department who know how to market and promote

A PR department who know how to use the powerful tool that is PR

A sales team who know how to sell

A team manager capable of actually signing and selecting players as well as technical nous etc

Players who know how to play and put a shift in even on a bad day

A catering department who know how to cater

and a 5 year [at least] plan to get where we want to go with achievable targets on the way so that everyone travels in the same direction and sings from the same hymn sheet

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This thread epitomises football fans worldwide.

 

Divided opinions will always exist even if we were in the Premier League with the most entertaining, exciting Team the UK has seen.

 

Vale have Norman as owner of the Club so for his tenure we are having to adhere to his whims/objectives/attitudes whether we like it or not. The only way to satisfy some posters is for a new owner to emerge from somewhere and give his input into our Club. Where is that person(s) going to come from? I think we all know there are no other interested parties in taking Vale forward at this time.

 

So again I repeat we have to stick with the current owner. It doesn't mean we have to agree with all or any of his decisions but what else can we as fans do? We have to support our Club. We'll be here for life(or at least most will)and we are the only constant at any Club. Without fans Clubs die. If the present trend continues fans deciding to leave Vale will ultimately cause our demise.

 

I admire the op for his heartfelt post and I, as a die hard Valiant still want this Club to be here when I'm gone. I will criticise and moan about Norman, certain players and certainly about aspects of the running of the Club I feel are wrong. BUT at the end of the day I will still attend matches and support Vale. I implore ALL current and prospective fans who want a better future for Vale to continue to attend matches as this is our way of supporting Vale and hopefully ensuring we do indeed have a future.

 

Many things are wrong and many things have been handled badly but we are still in Division 1 and there are many, many other League Clubs who would gladly swap places with us even if we have a seriously "tarnished national reputation." UTV.

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Reading through the various recent postings on here, it's fairly obvious (at least to me) that there are some serious expectations of a lot of supporters as to what we should expect from our beloved Vale. However, I think a lot of us (me included) need to sit back from time to time and appreciate just what we are.

 

Fact - We don't have any divine right to be in the Championship. A lot of fans seem to think that we do (at least, that's what I've taken from the constant moaning that we're 'only' mid table, etc). Let's face it, we were spoiled under Rudgie. Apart from those special years, when have we ever been at a higher level and competed. A LONG time ago! Yes, every supporter wants promotion and a challenge near the top of the league every season, but that's not going to happen for 15 odd clubs in our division alone in any given season. We are a lower level team and, barring a lot of things going our way, we will remain so.

 

Fact - Norman is human. He makes mistakes. We all do. If he learns from them, great. If he doesn't, he's the one who'll ultimately suffer, as there's no chance of him getting any of his money back if this Club doesn't succeed. It's his money he's ploughing in, and he's free to do with it what he wishes. Yes, we don't all agree with how he goes about things, or what he spends his money on, but do you see them queuing around the block to invest in the Club? Without Norman, I dare say that we'd be in a LOT worse a position, both on and off the field. He's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and not everyone (or even most) will agree with the way he goes about things, but that's his way and barring Roman Abramovich's mother seeking to invest, we don't have much option. Do people seriously think that he doesn't want what's best for the Club (i.e. promotion) as without it, like I've said, he may as well donate all of his money to the Clinton Foundation.

 

Fact - Our crowds are crap. Without the fans attending, we will continue to have to live within our modest means. Yes, it's a vicious cycle (i.e. without good football, why should the fans pay £23 a pop). It's a case of having too. I'd rather have a Club in 20 years time to support than not. Norman said that he wanted to fill the park and, if that's the case, he'll have to let people in for free (even then, some would still demand their money back because their seats weren't covered in mink fur, or their willy wasn't shaken off after a half time whizz by [iNSERT YOUR SECRET FANCY OF CHOICE])

 

Fact - We don't know what our players are paid, nor what certain players whom we haven't signed wanted, so how can we rant (vehemently in some cases) about how tight Norman is etc? Alex Jones, for example, may have wanted £5k a week, which is clearly not on for a Club of our means. We just don't know. Yet so many supporters spout as if Norman calls them personally to discuss the terms of each players contract. Every signing is a risk that might not pay off, so I don't blame the Club if they're not throwing stupid money around. Look at Yates, crocked for virtually the season just after signing a new contract extension and Andoh, out for the whole of last season. If we did push to boat out and sign, say, 11 Championship players on Championship wages, who's to say that the majority would succeed? It could be the death of the Club.

 

Fact - Who's to say that an 'experienced' journeyman manager is the best thing for us? The fact that they've been around the block invariably means that they will have some glaring failures on their CV, and who's to say we won't be the next such failure. All managers start somewhere, and the next successful manager that we have could be Michael Brown. It may not be, of course, but to me he's certainly understood that, at present, we need to be hard to beat (which he's done so far), as we can't take an attacking approach with the players that we have (our only fit strikers are Reg and young DT), as we'd be on a hiding to nothing if we did. You can say he's only played Chesterfield and Oldham, which is true, and things may change when we play the 'bigger' teams, but why not give the bloke a chance, as we did for Rudgie (before anyone starts, I'm not bigging him up as the next Rudgie)? Do people seriously think that we'll get the likes of Rowett et al here at the moment?

 

Final fact - We all love the Vale, and want the best for the Club. Keep the faith.

 

Spot On

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I can see the original posters points and I agree with some of them although as others have pointed out we shouldn't settle for the 'we're Port Vale and we are a 3rd tier club(League One) side because that's where we have spent most of our history' approach either. As said if Wigan, Reading and Bournemouth as 3 examples(until recent years(2000s onwards say)were historically 3 teams who were no bigger or better than Vale had then they'd perhaps have never achieve the successes(reaching the Premier League for one) that they have? We can all debate how they've achieved it til the cows come home(2 of them being in far more affuluent areas than Stoke probably helps) but that's another issue.

 

However it is very easy to become apathetic when your club is just 'drifting' I myself am probably guilty of that over the last 2 seasons or so. I still go to Vale but from someone who missed very few games in the early 2000s I now attend 12 or so home games and 4 or 5 away. It's not all because Vale have been average-poor(as we were for periods when I was nearly fanatical) some is about my own lifestyle choices/finances/where I live, but some of it is apathy.

 

If the current form was under the V2001 period I'd have probably been a lot more vocal and not happy but I just don't have the energy/time or inclination anymore. I still care about Vale and always will they're my team and I made my choice nearly 25 years ago.

 

I'm not sure where I stand on Smurthwaite, I personnally don't dislike the bloke and although he's said things he shouldn't and made mistakes it doesn't make me hold it against him and he's not the reason I don't go to Vale as much anymore. I respect the opinions of those that don't like him as many of the posters were those I protested with against the whole sorry V2001 regime, even if I don't total agree with them at the moment.

I honestly think he wants to get the club into the Championship and then sell(as it would be worth more) but doesn't know how to do it, experience and know how wise, more than money. I also don't hold the Bruno gamble against him(I think Smurfs playoff expectations were a bit pie in the sky personally), we tried a foreign manager with so called modern thinking and it failed. I don't think Mourinho conned him either, if he did then so did Carvahal and Karanka they all gave references and who wouldn't to a friend and someone you have worked with unless they were truly hopeless?

 

I think the clubs at a bit of a crossroads and what happens for the rest of this season could be very crucial and on what and who a lot of things will be judged!

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This thread epitomises football fans worldwide.

 

Divided opinions will always exist even if we were in the Premier League with the most entertaining, exciting Team the UK has seen.

 

Vale have Norman as owner of the Club so for his tenure we are having to adhere to his whims/objectives/attitudes whether we like it or not. The only way to satisfy some posters is for a new owner to emerge from somewhere and give his input into our Club. Where is that person(s) going to come from? I think we all know there are no other interested parties in taking Vale forward at this time.

 

So again I repeat we have to stick with the current owner. It doesn't mean we have to agree with all or any of his decisions but what else can we as fans do? We have to support our Club. We'll be here for life(or at least most will)and we are the only constant at any Club. Without fans Clubs die. If the present trend continues fans deciding to leave Vale will ultimately cause our demise.

 

I admire the op for his heartfelt post and I, as a die hard Valiant still want this Club to be here when I'm gone. I will criticise and moan about Norman, certain players and certainly about aspects of the running of the Club I feel are wrong. BUT at the end of the day I will still attend matches and support Vale. I implore ALL current and prospective fans who want a better future for Vale to continue to attend matches as this is our way of supporting Vale and hopefully ensuring we do indeed have a future.

 

Many things are wrong and many things have been handled badly but we are still in Division 1 and there are many, many other League Clubs who would gladly swap places with us even if we have a seriously "tarnished national reputation." UTV.

 

I disagree about no other interested parties. There were, but Norman valued the club higher than it's true value.

 

Without a new owner, you're right, we are stuck with Smurf. But rather than just accept his constant mistakes, fans have every right to challenge him. Putting the onus back on the fans to attend is all well and good, but lets face it, that's been the case for years now and it simply doesn't work, and at the risk of repeating myself, is lazy. This is where Smurf can make a difference, and why I judge his Chairmanship on the impact he has had on attendances. He inherited a club on the up, attendances increased due to promotion, and then during his time they have decreased every single year.

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