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OVF feature: Opinion: good bye Nathan Smith and good luck

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Opinion: good bye Nathan Smith and good luck

Rob Fielding is bemused why some Port Vale fans feel that defender Nathan Smith has somehow “let the club down” by wanting to leave.

Rob Fielding writes…

I can’t understand some fans who are criticising Nathan Smith for having the temerity to want to leave Port Vale and play at a higher level.

I was about to use the phrase he’s been a “magnificent servant” and then I realised how loaded that phrase is.

Continue reading Opinion: good bye Nathan Smith and good luck at onevalefan.co.uk.

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 Football is a short career . Gave his all for us and cannot complain if he moves for more money  to a higher league. One who if he ever returned as an opponent I would happily rise to my feet to applaud.

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He’s a great player at our level and for that reason I really hope he stays, having said that , I fully understand that if he can double his money, or even more, he’s going to take it, anyone would.

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I agree with all that is said. I would, however, add one little rider. I understand that Nathan has not rejected, nor accepted, Vale's contract offer.  I think that as this stage he ought to formally reject it.  Perhaps he has had a private word with the manager.  Perhaps the failure to formally reject the offer is a bit of a belt and braces job, where I suspect the agent is the power behind the strategy. I think it is the failure to reject the offer, and failure to say a fond and formal farewell to Vale and the fans that is behind some of the negative comments.

Nathan has the right to advance his career, and he would have the good wishes of almost all Vale fans.  Vale fans have the right to know that he has decided to move on, and will not accept the contract offer. They also have the right to receive an acknowledgement of their support for Nathan over the years.

He leaves with my best wishes, and like The Man in the Pub I would warmly applaud him if he ever returned to play against us.  Time and tide wait for no man, but Nathan please just confirm that you are leaving.  The way it seems is that you are hanging on just in case the big move your agent has lined up falls through.  That may not be the case, and there may be other reasons for the silence behind his plans.  The fans would not like to think that we are second best and you will sign the new contract because its a good fall back if the big team doesn't sign you for any reason.

 

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A friend in a Whatsapp group put it better than I could.

At the very top of Vale's salary structure he could probably expect to earn £150k a year. At another club he could be looking at £500k or even £750k. That's a life changing sum of money for him.

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Just picking up on Essex Vale's comment "Vale fans have the right to know that he has decided to move on, and will not accept the contract offer". Have they though?  Or is it a contractual thing between club and player?  I appreciate Vale fans want to put this to bed now and know the outcome, but I wouldn't say we have a right to know.  We would love to know, sure, but on this one, we'll have to be patient.  We''ll find out sooner or later anyway, and Askey is already lining up a replacement.  I would also be one of the fans to applaud Smith if he did return, because he has been a good player for us in difficult times, and as Santa has said, his next salary decision could set him up comfortably after his playing days are over.  If he is off, thank you and good luck Nathan.

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For me he would leave with my best wishes. I hope that he stays and gets promotion with us, but can't blame him if he can get more money - there are few in this world that have enough loyalty to any employer to turn down the opportunity to double their wages.

I too would applaud him if he returns ... with the exception of it being with that lot down the road 🙂

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The thing that sticks in my craw is not that he leaving, but leaving without Vale getting a fee for him. So Vale, who have nurtured him from a very early age, get financially zip for their efforts.

The club he joins will still in effect pay a fee for his services, but this will no doubt go to the player himself as a signing on fee and increased salary.

Strange that he chose to leave at just turned 24, the age at which the Bosman Ruling comes into effect. 

 

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27 minutes ago, RailwayRowdy said:

The thing that sticks in my craw is not that he leaving, but leaving without Vale getting a fee for him. So Vale, who have nurtured him from a very early age, get financially zip for their efforts.

The club he joins will still in effect pay a fee for his services, but this will no doubt go to the player himself as a signing on fee and increased salary.

Strange that he chose to leave at just turned 24, the age at which the Bosman Ruling comes into effect. 

 

That last paragraph is a good point RR

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I don't think you can say he's somehow stayed until he was 24 to deny us a fee in some way. He couldn't leave at 23 cos he was under contract then. Looking at it from another angle too - he may not have been in demand at 23 because other clubs would be unwilling to pay a fee. He's not going to leave at 23 if he hasn't got an offer.

 

 

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It's disappointing but such is the way of the football world nowadays. 

Rodney apart, we are in no position to hand out 3-4 year contracts at our level and bigger clubs circle like sharks when contracts end and pick up some bargains.

Crewe have just lost Jones to Lincoln. He was their next kid off the block a few years ago but they've got nowt for him now.

I think Smith just reached the point in his career when he perhaps thought it was right to consider moving on and earn a bit more money. You can't blame him for that. The odds are now stacked in players' favour.

He'll get a clap from me if he returns but we've replaced better players and centre halves are not the hardest positions to fill. Life moves on and Port Vale with it.

 

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I don’t think that it will have been lost on Smith (and more importantly his agent) that his birthday in April is a mere two months before contracts end in June/July time.

So when he signed his last contract for x years, both people involved knew that if he stayed for the duration, when it expired Vale would be entitled to zilch. And that any money Vale may have got for him would ultimately end up in the players pocket. That’s the thanks Vale got.

That I find unacceptable. 

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So is he supposed to keep accepting contracts and stay at vale until someone actually buys him? Nobody wanted to pay a fee, he owes us nothing and we owe him nothing. His contract has ran out, he's done his time professionally and now he wants to move on.

We don't have a right to know whats going on with the wait either. Smith and Askey will surely keep in discussions and sooner or later Askey will tell Nathan he needs to sign or it will be too late. 

Whatever happens, all the best Smithy!

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9 minutes ago, RailwayRowdy said:

I don’t think that it will have been lost on Smith (and more importantly his agent) that his birthday in April is a mere two months before contracts end in June/July time.

So when he signed his last contract for x years, both people involved knew that if he stayed for the duration, when it expired Vale would be entitled to zilch. And that any money Vale may have got for him would ultimately end up in the players pocket. That’s the thanks Vale got.

That I find unacceptable. 

I think that's pretty unfair. I don't see if as "unacceptable" at all. He has given many years to the club, he's been a model professional he's made 199 appearances - those things are also the "thanks" Vale got. John Askey and Carol Shanahan both think it's amicable. Do you really think he's been treading water waiting for the chance to leave? I saw a player who has put everything on the line until his contract was up.

In all careers there's an element of looking after yourself. He's more attractive as a free transfer yes but were there been any takers in previous years when he was under 24? I don't think any other club was there to pay the money to earn Vale a transfer fee? If there wasn't then the fact he's going now for free is a totally moot point as we haven't lost out on any fee and we got another year's service from him.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, glenpvfc said:

So is he supposed to keep accepting contracts and stay at vale until someone actually buys him? Nobody wanted to pay a fee, he owes us nothing and we owe him nothing. His contract has ran out, he's done his time professionally and now he wants to move on.

We don't have a right to know whats going on with the wait either. Smith and Askey will surely keep in discussions and sooner or later Askey will tell Nathan he needs to sign or it will be too late. 

Whatever happens, all the best Smithy!

You beat me to it. I agree 100% 👏👏👏

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7 hours ago, News Feed said:

Opinion: good bye Nathan Smith and good luck

Rob Fielding is bemused why some Port Vale fans feel that defender Nathan Smith has somehow “let the club down” by wanting to leave.

Rob Fielding writes…

I can’t understand some fans who are criticising Nathan Smith for having the temerity to want to leave Port Vale and play at a higher level.

I was about to use the phrase he’s been a “magnificent servant” and then I realised how loaded that phrase is.

Continue reading Opinion: good bye Nathan Smith and good luck at onevalefan.co.uk.

Absolutely spot-on Rob.  For any sensible fan, there's really nothing more to add to to your rational, objective and well-balanced summary. Good luck to the lad.

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Surely any footballer must have the ambition to play in as high a league as they possibly can. Smithy has stated that it is a difficult decision, Vale have looked after him since his teens and he has given Vale 110% commitment. He has not rejected the offer because he would gladly stay if that career move did not materialise during the difficult months ahead. All clubs will be carefully looking at their finances at the moment as I am sure there is another Wigan / Bury waiting to happen. If he can achieve a Championship move then no Vale fan can decry him of that chance. Best wishes Smithy, wherever you may be next season.

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56 minutes ago, Brown Edge Normski said:

Good luck Nathan. 

Bolton Wanderers favorite's apparently ! 

 

56 minutes ago, Brown Edge Normski said:

Good luck Nathan. 

 

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