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Norman Smurthwaite statement

14 March 2014

The Chairmans Statement.

Good Afternoon, yet again I find myself having to respond to media comments in relation to several aspects of our Club and, for future reference, I would like to remind all interested parties that unless any statement or topic is printed or covered on the Official Port Vale Website, you should disregard it as being gossip and innuendo.

Contrary to many reports, Micky Adams and I have a very good working relationship. Micky’s contribution both on and off the pitch have been invaluable during my reign as Chairman since the summer and, he has been a huge ally in helping me to stabilise our fabulous Club.  In order to continue enjoying that relationship I felt it was only fair that Micky was given the best prediction of next season’s budget and you would of course expect any business to have a realistic business plan in place going forward.

Micky has made no unreasonable requests in relation to his new contract terms and I am confident that he will remain with us for the next season and beyond.
The topic reported today regarding next year’s forecasted budget is extremely misleading and I would like to qualify that the budget in question will be based upon the season ticket sales that our Club receives from 24th March 2014 to 31st July 2014 together with the gate receipts enjoyed up until the end of March and estimated to the end of this season.  60% of the revenue which is identified will be available for Micky to build a squad for next season.  In short, the season that we are coming to an end of will be the platform for the financial budget for next season.

Some operational information I would like to share with you regarding contracts that were entered into since 21st November 2012; these have either been revised or terminated in order that the services required are more suited to the commercial revenue of our Club.  In the coming weeks there will be several announcements made by myself, including certain operational changes within the Club to improve the profitability and functionality of our business and provide a solid platform for our Club’s future.  I would like to remind all interested parties of the position our Club was in prior to the 20th November 2012 and where we are now.  None of this would have been possible without the continued efforts and support of Micky, our squad, staff and sponsors to help us to get to where we are today, including you our loyal and committed fans.

Regretfully my media and PR skills are way below par and I find that answering questions directly and honestly sometimes can leave me open to misinterpretation.  Sadly sometimes adding to the debate raises more questions than answers.

I have spent since the summer most of my time undoing or renegotiating numerous contractual terms which we should have never entered into and satisfying creditors in a very challenging environment.  At times in doing this I have failed to have the energy and time to lead, as a Chairman should do.  I am fully committed to delivering a football club that our staff, fans and community take great pride in and, having now resolved 95% of the Club’s issues, will now spend my time more focused on delivering that leadership and providing a future platform for onward progression.  I ask that you now give me the same level of support to help me to deliver the same.  

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