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Turbulent week sees Port Vale Chairman put £4 + million price tag on club


According to the Stoke Sentinel, potential buyers for Port Vale will have to find at least £4.25m to persuade Chairman Norman Smurthwaite to part with his club.

The chairman and owner has put Vale up for sale after admitting he has become increasingly disillusioned with running the club since he bought it out of administration in 2012.

That came to a head after Sunday's FA Cup second round defeat at Exeter City when the chairman went on to supporters' coaches to apologise for the performance.

However, as reported earlier in The Sentinel, the chairman has revealed he was attacked by three people claiming to be Vale supporters last year and has been considering his future at Vale Park since then.

The paper went on to report:

'Smurthwaite will be looking to recoup the £3m he estimates he has invested into the club in the last three years, on top of the £1.25m he paid for the Valiants.

'The club's latest accounts, for the 12 months up to June 30 2015, showed £2.5m was owed to Smurthwaite as a director's loan. The chairman estimates he has continued to put in between £80,000 and £120,000 into the club each month this season.

'He wants to sell after saying he has had enough of the stress on himself and his family, but has warned he will not be offering a cut-price deal.'

The chairman said: "I have never lost money on a transaction in my adult life and I am not starting now."

However, buyers could have the cheaper option of buying the football business and agreeing for Smurthwaite to remain owner of Vale Park. The ownership of the football club and Vale Park were split into separate companies when Smurthwaite and his then business partner Paul Wildes bought the club from the administrators.

Supporters are likely to fear for the future of the club if it didn't own its own ground. However, the chairman says there are safeguards in place.

He explained: "There is a covenant in place insisted on by the Football League. In the event that the club is sold separately from the ground it would trigger a 25-year rental lease at a set rent that is considerably less than the market value."

The chairman says he would consider selling the club and remaining owner of the ground, depending on the offer made. He has revealed he was approached by potential buyers last year but decided not to sell because he didn't think they would be able to run the club successfully.

He said: "Last summer a consortium came to look at the club. They offered the right money, but couldn't afford the stadium. But I thought in a couple of years the club would be back where it was in 2012."

Read more: http://­www.­stokesentinel.­co.­uk


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