Port Vale up for Sale

JJ1532

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It was mentioned briefly in the FA Cup thread, but felt this deserved it's own attention. Chairman and owner of Port Vale Norman Smurfwaite has decided he's had enough and is now walking away. He's looking to sell up after just 3 years in charge. Not surprising given how much money they have bled out of him. Revealed they were £800k over budget this season already, which is pretty staggering. Clearly he was desperately pinning his hopes this season on a lucrative cup run, but that went up in smoke at the weekend.

To be fair, he has done well at the Vale. Built a new club shop, tried a variety of different things on and off the pitch to better the football club. Got them promoted from League One and has done a pretty good job is getting them to become stabilised at this level. Still, it's clearly taken too much of a toll on his bank balance and now he wants out. He'll leave them in a healthy position, but who is going to want to stump up the money it would cost them to buy the club? And then pump money into a middling League One club with little or no chance of a return on their investment?

So what do you make to this Vale fans? Is it just another temper tantrum which he'll calm down from and carry on as usual? Or is this really the end for him at Vale Park? If so, what does the short and long term future hold?
 

Bartonyellow

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You can't help but think that if they had beat Exeter it would be academic as they would have had Liverpool at home which would probably be televised and bring in lots of money plus a 19000 gate.
It's a shame that he would go after one game..unless he has used it as the excuse to go.
 

valefan16

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His health apparently which came to a head during the Exeter game when he got so worked up he feared he was having a heart attack.

That said he hasn't really changed the situation the club has always been up for sale (he stated when he took over it the right man came in he would sell).

Smurfs passionate and to be honest you never know if it's just the initial anger over Sunday's dreadful performance. He said for instance he wouldn't add to the set budget in June and then financed Hooper, Uche, Alnwick and Inniss for a start.

He also stated he won't sell unless he's happy with the prospective buyers intentions so if he does go it'll probably take a long time anyway but in theory every club at this level is always "for sale"
 

Dave-Vale

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He won't sell.

He should stay off OVF and Twitter, though.

He should also have brought somebody with experience in running a football club a long time ago.
 

valefan16

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He is a great backer certainly financially but a PR disaster, although never has had to be a PR guru before, im pretty sure we went through this after the Peterborough game a couple of seasons ago (cant recall why but possibly to do with the Wolves trouble a few weeks before).

If it is affecting his health then he should go, its football and not worth killing yourself over but Dave is probably right and it'll all blow over and we will never hear nothing further on it.

He is being a wee bit dramatic about losing to Exeter too, its not like they are a non league side so the ashamed comments and that are a bit OTT but he is right in my opinion to slate the total unprofessionalism of the players to literally not be arsed at all on Sunday. In his tenure we lost to Sheffield United, Brighton and MK Dons in the cup so this is his first experience of a (all be it minor) giant killing and he has taken it extremely badly, I dread to imagine what he'd have done had we lost to Maidenhead!
 

TimeyWimey

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No matter how embarrassingly bad we get, Vale always trump us in the circus stakes.

He clearly won't sell. Attention seeking nonsense.
 

valefan16

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No matter how embarrassingly bad we get, Vale always trump us in the circus stakes.

He clearly won't sell. Attention seeking nonsense.

Emmervale soap opera you see ;)

He's always said he will sell if the right man comes along... yesterday he said "Vale are up for sale, but the owner has to tick a lot of boxes for me"

So essentially nothing has changed as in three years the right man hasn't come along to tick his boxes and he wont sell until they do!
 
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He is an attention seeking biff, but ,maybe he has pulled a masterstroke in taking the talk from off the team and the fact that the club have lost out on a big pay day against Liverpool. On the other hand, for all his investment maybe he is naffed off at the poor home crowds, (Vale barely get much more than us and we never invested, knew we would be in the shite and have been in the shite) and was hoping to inject some cash via a cup run our a play off push. Other than Granty, Smurf, we fucking told you so.....
 

yukon

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No matter how embarrassingly bad we get, Vale always trump us in the circus stakes.

He clearly won't sell. Attention seeking nonsense.
I was snooping at your forum earlier to see how your lot reacted. You dumb fucks actually think the the likes of Grant are "Crewe Rejects" don't you!?! What a pisser
 

JJ1532

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http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/Port...-beaten-Vale/story-28320647-detail/story.html :surr:

Oh and as for Grant, he isn't a Crewe reject. Our manager decided our 2nd best player from last season(some would argue, the best) wasn't good enough for us because he's an idiot and let him go. If any Crewe fan thinks that is a good decision and we are now better off with Bingham, King and Atkinson, they are deluded and simply not worth listening to.
 

Indian Dan

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Why do people think a club misses out in a big cup tie if only they had won the previous round.

Vale had beaten Exeter they would have had a different number than Exeter and wouldn't have drawn Liverpool
 

IanPVFC

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No we'd have had the same number. Only the Prem and Champ were in alphabetical order, the rest were numbered by tie.
 

valefan16

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I was snooping at your forum earlier to see how your lot reacted. You dumb fucks actually think the the likes of Grant are "Crewe Rejects" don't you!?! What a pisser

If Granty was a reject then Crewe should be top of the league as he's been outstanding for 95% of the games :)

In fairness I was surprised it took until this morning for Crewe fans to start a thread on this and start creaming over it but nothing has particularly changed from the last three years. We've always been up for sale as I am sure Crewe would be if the right offer comes in!
 
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dannyc5

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Ignore the complete and utter spastics on Crewe Mad.
 

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Realistically we've always been up for sale (if the right person came forward) so this changes little unless his financial input lessens.
 

mozzavale

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Why do people think a club misses out in a big cup tie if only they had won the previous round.

Vale had beaten Exeter they would have had a different number than Exeter and wouldn't have drawn Liverpool

We knew either us or Exeter would be 51 before we played on Sunday. So you're wrong.
 

valefan16

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To be fair Smurf can't be that keen to sell when he goes to the press about getting a battering 20 months ago by three fans on a non match day (although the police say they have no record of it) and that we nearly appointed JFH when Micky was sacked but he felt it wouldn't be fair to him after the racism incident against Bradford 12 months earlier in case he got stick after bad results. Great PR for getting a buyer that!
 

mozzavale

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I'm sure all of this will be hilarious to a few that hate us and want us to go out of business. Football without rivals is nothing.

Anyone with half a brain cell could see that Norman is a hot head, and prone to the odd rant. The amount of times he's made the club a complete laughing stock is ridiculous. Banning the sentinel, mither with the police, his actions on social media and OVF. Now we've got a bloke that on Monday decided he was putting us up for sale, Monday night he says the fans are violent (but the police have no record of a complaint....20 months ago), Tuesday he says the fans are racist so he wouldn't appoint Hasslebank (yet during his time he's brought Marshall, Byron, Andoh, JJ, Uche, Slew, Grant, Dean-Conteh, NGuessan etc to the club, suppose he's not bothered if they get racially abused then??), then on Wednesday he values the club at £4.25m. Now I'm no salesman, but I can't see buyers lining up Hamil Road after that sales pitch.

He always said he would leave the club in a better state than when he arrived. Yes we're in a higher league, but now we don't own our ground (he does), we're losing 1m p.a., we have a reputation nationally as a club followed by violent racist thugs, we owe Smurf £2.5m in directors loans. Need I go on? The day we were told in May 2013 that Wildes had left and Norman was taking charge, I knew this day would come.

The bloke is a liability. His business plan is non existent. Wildes spoke of making Vale Park a revenue source 7 days a week. Smurf says it's not rocket science, just sell more beer, pies and tickets. Great plan. Every initiative we've launched in the last 2/3 years has been poorly timed, poorly managed and poorly marketed, everything just seems so off the cuff. The unprofessionalism of the club makes us a laughing stock. Wildes at least knew how to market the club, and didn't underestimate the power of PR. Norman has been an absolute disaster as far as I'm concerned.

I don't buy all this he saved our club nonsense either. He bid for us when we were in admin at a knock down price, as did others that would have just as easily purchased the club if he hadn't. Since then fans with zero intelligence get all giddy when Norm comes out with his sweety jar bollocks. They then fall for his bullshit when he blames the fans for the financial position we're in. He tells us how he saves the club financially every month. The fans didn't sign those contracts Norman, you did. Look back at our attendances over the last 15 years since we were relegated from the Championship. Anyone who sets up a business plan that relies on an increase in attendances is asking for trouble. It's exactly what V2001 did, yet he took no fucking notice.

I wish I didn't love the club so much, I could do without all of this shit.

Daft thing is, we're 4 points off the play offs. This is one of the weirdest seasons I can remember. I'd give anything for a few seasons of zero drama off the pitch. It's tiring being a Vale fan.
 

Dave-Vale

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Fucking hell, we've become a fully blown circus...again.

Might as well rename the thread 'The Port Vale Park Circus' like the one on the old board.

This is embarrassing.
 

valefan16

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He is so bi-polar in his actions its unreal, it todays press the club is in no danger and it isn't a big deal if it isn't sold we will have a reduced playing budget (as we were told we would this year) and he will appoint a CEO and step back from it a bit.

So today he seems rather chilled and business as usual like whilst last night he was ranting and raving on OVF! I am a fan of what he has done, he has threw plenty of money at it but he is a PR disaster!

I love the club dearly but I wish we could just have a stable quiet season for once!
 

TrinidadsNumberOne

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As a Crewe fan I don't find this amusing at all, it's just tedious now. Yes our holier-than-thou old farts on Crewe Mad who I swear don't even go to games will be saying what a brilliantly run club we are (far from it obviously) and nasty Vale are in a mess again but in all seriousness Smurthwaite is genuinely an incompetent buffoon. Exeter are a very stable, well-run and excellent side, albeit in a lower league, and I believe he's hugely disrespected them. But the thing is Smurf was reliant on a cup-run to fund what he put into the club. When he lost out on that sort of money he's realised he's spunked another £800K and not got his income back so he's just thrown a wobbler.

We've heard it for two years now:

"I'm cutting the budget next season because 1500 fewer fans than I've budgeted for have shown up for a home game vs Swindon."

"The budget will go down else the club's existence is at stake if it remains the same."

"If the fans don't turn up, we'll have a League Two budget next season."

"I'm not prepared to put any more money into the club (goes and signs four/five more players)".

Simple solution is stick to a budget that you set in the Summer and don't go over it as excessively as you have done Smurf, then you won't express doubts about your investment. For such a businessman, Smurf doesn't seem to be a very astute one, he attempts to be a crowd pleaser and, whilst that's good to see, he lets his heart rule over his head far too often. He regularly over-budgets and then when he doesn't get the cup income back to off-set his investment he just regrets ploughing that sum of money into the team and kicks off to the media like a stroppy teenager after a break-up.

I'll also be very surprised if Smurthwaite got £4.25 million for Port Vale, not gonna lie but, like most lower league clubs, unless you plough tens of millions into it, the growth potential is severely inhibited and prospective investors will be put off unless they get the club for a steal. Especially for clubs like ourselves when we have Stoke and the Manchester and Merseyside and Midland powerhouses on our respective doorsteps.

I've also seen that utter pillock Mo Chaudhury is interested again. Stick to Waterworld soft lad.
 

mozzavale

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As a Crewe fan I don't find this amusing at all, it's just tedious now. Yes our holier-than-thou old farts on Crewe Mad who I swear don't even go to games will be saying what a brilliantly run club we are (far from it obviously) and nasty Vale are in a mess again but in all seriousness Smurthwaite is genuinely an incompetent buffoon. Exeter are a very stable, well-run and excellent side, albeit in a lower league, and I believe he's hugely disrespected them. But the thing is Smurf was reliant on a cup-run to fund what he put into the club. When he lost out on that sort of money he's realised he's spunked another £800K and not got his income back so he's just thrown a wobbler.

We've heard it for two years now:

"I'm cutting the budget next season because 1500 fewer fans than I've budgeted for have shown up for a home game vs Swindon."

"The budget will go down else the club's existence is at stake if it remains the same."

"If the fans don't turn up, we'll have a League Two budget next season."

"I'm not prepared to put any more money into the club (goes and signs four/five more players)".

Simple solution is stick to a budget that you set in the Summer and don't go over it as excessively as you have done Smurf, then you won't express doubts about your investment. For such a businessman, Smurf doesn't seem to be a very astute one, he attempts to be a crowd pleaser and, whilst that's good to see, he lets his heart rule over his head far too often. He regularly over-budgets and then when he doesn't get the cup income back to off-set his investment he just regrets ploughing that sum of money into the team and kicks off to the media like a stroppy teenager after a break-up.

I'll also be very surprised if Smurthwaite got £4.25 million for Port Vale, not gonna lie but, like most lower league clubs, unless you plough tens of millions into it, the growth potential is severely inhibited and prospective investors will be put off unless they get the club for a steal. Especially for clubs like ourselves when we have Stoke and the Manchester and Merseyside and Midland powerhouses on our respective doorsteps.

I've also seen that utter pillock Mo Chaudhury is interested again. Stick to Waterworld soft lad.

Top post. This is what really fucking irritates me about him. I question every single Vale fan that says he has done good for the club, that then use the players we've signed as proof. He's signed players that we're now having to pay £80k a month from his own pocket to fund. He then keeps banging on about how our attendances haven't gone up (as though the fans are to blame), well guess fucking what Norman, the last time we were in this league we were here for 8 seasons between 2000 and 2008. During that time our average attendance was 4,836. Our current average for the season is 4,896. That took me about 2 minutes to work out. I'm no businessman, but if you then go and set a budget for higher attendances, then you're pretty fucking stupid.

Then I see fans saying they admire his openness and honesty and that's what we didn't get with V2001. I don't think fans were screaming and shouting at V2001 to let us know how fucking amazing they are and how much they're pumping into the club to keep it alive. He may be open and honest, but he's openly and honestly telling us he's incompetent...but it's all our fault. The difference is, V2001 were crooks. They weren't open and honest, they were liars. They deceived fans and manipulated a great idea to serve their own purposes, ego's and finances.

Yet again though, it's us fans that will be left to pick up the pieces if and when this all goes tits up. We were here before Norman, and we'll be here long after he's pissed off. Luckily, I think Norman's greed and pride are actually what save us. We're no use to him if we go bust, as he'll lose out financially. He's publicly said he's never lost money on an investment and he doesn't want to start now. Fingers crossed, whoever does finally come in and take over the club, under whatever circumstances, does so with the clubs interests at heart from day one. Maybe, just maybe we'll finally be run with a degree of professionalism and competence.
 

Dave-Vale

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Appointing a CEO is something he should have done a while ago. He also needs to stop posting on OVF and needs to keep away from using Twitter. Although some of his fallouts on there have been comical.
 

Wootball

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Ignore the complete and utter spastics on Crewe Mad.

Yes our holier-than-thou old farts on Crewe Mad who I swear don't even go to games will be saying what a brilliantly run club we are

Don't tar everyone that uses that forum with the same brush. Yes there's some dickheads there but there's also a few that talk sense and aren't willing to sugar coat the fact that our club is in a complete mess.
 

darren gregory

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He got swept away by it all, Rochdale 3.5k away, Wycome 3.7 k away, Burton and Northampton 12k at home were freaks !!! In general we have always been 4500 ish. Even in Championship days games against the likes of Forest Brum Wolves were only fetching 8k gates, with 3k of those away fans. I liked the fact he says it how it is, but spats with fans on social media including offering them on on OVF is cringeworthy. You can't make money out of lower league clubs bar the odd exception. And why bring up racism as a reason not to appoint Jimmy Floyd, when you actually read the article deeper he was never going get offered it as Smurf was happy with Page at that time. I may get abuse here but i,m sorry to the PC brigade the Bradford chanting was not racist as neither is the Brighton chanting homophobic, it is football fans banter, to tar all of us as racists when we chant Uche Uche is incredible. If folk take umbrage to those chants then they need to get a life otherwise next time someone sings Burslem's a S***hole i wanna go home i am going to my MP !!! . The racism and assault things are the biggest cop out ever. For those of you who like a flutter on sunday Exeter were 7/4 and Vale 6/5. Hardly the biggest cup shock in history is it ? This has been brewing a while and all his toys are out of the pram at once. We are a pantomine.
 

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aye I've always felt that the chant 'you're just a town full of faggots' was actually really helpful in making the LGBT community feel welcome at football matches.
 

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What a joke football club owners have become. Unless your club is fan owned you're getting ripped off and mugged every time you spend money at the turnstiles and concourses. Blackpool has to be the famous case for this.

Sent from my Vodafone Smart ultra 6 using Tapatalk
 

valefan16

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It is a massive mess to be honest, the problem is when Wildes was in it with Smurf he was the PR man and did a great job in fairness such as the deal against Burton, trying to raise money with the 3rd kit with your names in.

Since then Smurf has done it alone with no PR skills nor football knowledge, he has gone as far as serving behind the counter in the Lorne Street concourse food area at some games.

He has massively needed a CEO for 2 years now.

He has done good in terms of pumping the money in, but to moan about it is crazy, we were told we had a set budget this season then he decided to finance himself Alnwick, Inniss, Hooper and Uche so he chose to do that after saying we'd spent our budget so why moan about it after!

Splitting the ground and club is a concern and if we do get sold I imagine we will end up renting off Smurf (luckily the contract on the ground means it wont get bulldozed) but I believe this is getting more common in clubs (for eg sure I recall Crewe fans mention this has happened with them where it turned out the club and ground were set up separate?)
 

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