One resignation doesn’t make everything alright


The news that Bill Bratt has stepped down as chairman of Port Vale will be greeted in some quarters with jubilation.

I would simply say that it is a shame that he did not tender his resignation immediately in the wake of the EGM on June 1 when the board lost a vote of no confidence from shareholders.

Since that date the chairman has been conspicuous by his absence.

This move is, however, a step in the right direction by the embattled board.

The question is, of course, what has motivated the chairman’s decision after eight years at the helm? (I was going to write ’tiller’ but thought better of it).

For a long time Bill Bratt has been saying how much the role of chairman has been adversely affecting his health and taking up too much of his time.

However, I suspect that other factors are now also in play – not least the fact that several hundred fans have refused to renew their season tickets while the current board are in place.

Not only is this causing a major financial headache, but the ‘score-board pressure’ of knowing that so many supporters are boycotting the club because of three individuals must eventually take its toll.

I would love to believe that this move is the first acknowledgment of the fact that without its fans, Port Vale is nothing. A little humility at last would certainly go a long way.

Whatever the truth, I would advise caution at this juncture.

While nothing would please me more than to see and end to the civil war, let us not forget that this gesture simply equates to a shuffling of the pack.

The power-base remains intact. The same three individuals who survived the EGM by the skin of their teeth (and in spite of the majority of shareholders wanting them gone) remain in place.

For real a reconciliation and a chance for us all to move forward together then several things need to happen as soon as possible:

*Mark Sims must be given access to all the financial information he requires in order to enable him to decide whether or not he is prepared to accept a director’s liabilities

*Bill Bratt, Glenn Oliver and Mike Lloyd – who, let us not forget, is now chairman by default rather than on merit or because he was wanted by the shareholders – must agree a timetable to step down from the board

*Peter Jackson and Stan Meigh must give public assurances that they do not intend to stand again for election to the board at Port Vale FC

These are the minimum requirements for us to be able to move forward in a meaningful way which will help to heal the rift between supporters.

One resignation doesn’t make a summer.

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