Mark Porter, chairman of the Supporters Club for Port Vale, has said that the club in the current day is unrecognisable since Kevin and Carol Shanahan took ownership on May 7th 2019.
The Shanahans are today celebrating the first anniversary of their takeover of the club, and Mark, who has supported Vale for 45 years, couldn’t be prouder of the difference made in such a short space of time.
“The club is unrecognisable, twelve months ago the fans were protesting and were in fear of what was going to happen to the club next,” said Mark, who has been involved with the supporters club for just under 10 years.
“We were heading into football oblivion, but now you can see the good foundations that have been put in place both on and off the field.”
Mark emphasised that it’s not the just matters on the pitch which are important to the football club and Valiants' supporters.
“You can see the improvements in the community as well, there’s been change from the top, right down throughout the club.”
“I think the work that has been done is fantastic.”
“Obviously the times we are experiencing now have never been faced before, but from someone like myself who works in a charitable background I think that the way that the club has handled the situation and have helped people that are less fortunate has just been incredible.”
“That all comes from Kevin and Carol, the directors, the staff, to the volunteers and then to the supporters, it’s a big nucleus of people who are involved and it’s nice to see, but it just shows what we were saying this time last year about how integral the community is to the football club.”
Mark is also over the moon about the fact that the club is in the hands of long-time Vale fans.
“That’s all we wanted (someone who cares about the club).”
“What you want is somebody to make sure that the club is looked after, maintained and being put in the best position it can be, and that is all you ask for.”
“The club is in great hands now.”
Before the suspension of football in England, Vale sat one place and one point outside the play-offs, which is in stark contrast to flirtations with relegation in previous seasons, and Mark is delighted with the progress Askey's team has made.
“Again, we’re unrecognisable on the pitch from last season, we’ve got a togetherness.”
“I always say that results will change on the pitch, but it’s not just about that, it’s about everything.”
“So when everything gets put into place, when the supporters are behind the team, the team are behind the supporters, the owners are behind the club, it’s like a jigsaw.”
“All those pieces eventually slot in, and you start getting your success on the pitch.”
“Credit to the manager, credit to the players, credit to the owners and credit to the fans, because what we’re doing now is incredible.”