Black and Gold

Black and Gold

Posted on 15/02/2019

It is with a heavy heart that we at Black and Gold Towers see the need to go public again with our concerns about the situation in which Port Vale Football Club finds itself under its current owner.


We are no longer shareholders in the business as we were under the previous regime so we do not have a direct financial investment in the business.  That does not mean, however, that our emotional investment in the club is any less intense.  Nor does it mean that we have no interest in the manner in which the club is being run.  To any fan with eyes to see it looks like Mr Norman Smurthwaite is running the club into the ground and we ask why.


We are now in the sixth season of his tenure and the club finds itself in what appears to be terminal decline.  After inheriting a successful manager in Micky Adams, Mr Smurthwaite has appointed four men to the post, none of whom had Football League management experience.  This is not the behaviour of a man who wants the best for this club.


After inheriting a team which was on the verge of promotion to League One with a squad of solid, experienced professionals, we now find ourselves struggling at the wrong end of League Two for the second season in a row.  We now have a squad made up of a small number of experienced league players, signings from non-league and young loanees who have played a mere handful of league games between them.  This is not the action of an owner who wants the best for this club.


In the intervening period, Mr Smurthwaite indulged in a ludicrous ego trip when he appointed a foreign manager and appears on the surface to have put recruitment in the hands of a dubious agent.  That little episode worked out so well that it saw the club relegated to the bottom division, destroying all the good work that had been done by the previous two managers.  This is not the decision making of a chairman who wants the best for this club.


Mr Smurthwaite admitted when he took control from Paul Wildes that he had no knowledge of how to run a football club.  It seems that in the years since then he has learnt nothing.  His actions do not appear to be in the best interests of the football club.  If someone were to write a guide on how not to run a football club, Mr Norman Smurthwaite would be a prime candidate for the lead protagonist.


This club will continue to decline if Mr Smurthwaite remains in situ.  It is imperative that he enters negotiations to sell the club for a sensible price whilst there is still a club to save.  He claims to have loaned the club substantial sums of money to sustain it.  We ask him why he wishes to remain the owner of a failing business which is apparently costing him in the pocket.  We ask him why he continues to cling on when his customer base no longer wants him.  We ask him why he will not consider selling the club for a sensible price when there are potential buyers waiting in the wings


We have no confidence that Port Vale will reverse the current decline under Norman Smurthwaite’s ownership and ask fans to support the current campaign to show fan dissatisfaction.



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