Paul Wildes introduced to the media
Port Vale’s preferred bidder Paul Wildes was this afternoon introduced to the media in a press conference held at Vale Park.
The press conference attracted a lot of media attention and was broadcast live by Radio Stoke, with several TV companies in attendance.
Bob Young, of administrators Begbies Traynor, opened by explaining: “Paul and his colleague Norman Smurthwaite are probably the most recent party to come to the table.
“They have impressed us with the speed with which they have done their due diligence, their plans for the whole of Vale Park, not just the football club, the fact that they have done exactly what they have said they will do when they have said they will do it, the fact that they said they would sign the heads of terms last week, which we did on Friday, the fact that they said they would pay £100,000 to ensure exclusivity, which they have done and therefore I believe Port Vale will have a very bright future if we can conclude this transaction.
“The sale price has been agreed at £1.25million. That is all in cash, there is no deferred consideration. I’ve been shown the money, so I am sure it is there and there is no reason to believe that Paul and Norman will not be deemed suitable parties by the Football League.
“We would like to complete by the end of October and Paul is extremely keen to do so. Whether we can do that is largely down to how quickly the Football League and the FA can move in providing permission to complete within that time scale.”
Paul Wildes said: “I have been very impressed by what has been happening on the field. I am even more impressed by the potential of the stadium and the land and building surrounding it and the commercial activities that could be brought to Vale Park, which is one of the reasons why I am very interested.
“We have got come synergies with some of the businesses that we currently own that will help develop the venue into more of a seven days a week venue, instead of a three hours every other Saturday venue.
“We are coming to the club with ideas on how we can develop the off-field activities of the club to try and make the commercial venture a successful one over a number of years.
“I think it is important for me to say now is that the decisions we will be making today and over the coming years will be ones for the long term interest of the football club.
“Short term cash flow decisions don’t need to be made here. What we will be looking to do is make decisions for the long term benefit of the club.”
Vale manager Micky Adams added: “Paul sounds very impressive to me and all the things that we talked about last night, and it was only a very, very brief conversation, but I am excited about working with him.
“Certainly he understands that we only have a small squad here and it may need strengthening. I will have to sit down with him at a later date and discuss that and see what we can do.”
Bob Young announced that the short-term contracts signed by the players will now revert to the original contracts that were agreed in the summer.
He said: Micky agreed to sign various players prior to the start of the season, many of them on two-year contracts.
“Because we didn’t know for certain at the start of the football season that we would find a buyer, I gave a commitment to the Football League that the administrators would trade Port Vale throughout this season, so we asked the players to sign amended contracts, just to run for this one football season.
“When we conclude the deal with Paul, the original contracts that Micky agreed to will revert and the Employment Rights Act will kick in, and the original contract lengths will be reinstated and Paul’s new company will take this over.”