U.S. investment in Vale begs so many questions


When Bradford equalised in the first half some wag sitting behind in the Bycars End me shouted: “Eight million quid and we still haven’t got a decent ’keeper.”
As well as being a tad harsh on Chris Martin, this observation didn’t take into the account that the multi-million pound investment by Blue Sky had only been unveiled three hours earlier.
Funny that: Fancy announcing the largest investment deal in the club’s history at 10 to 5 on a match night.
Call me old fashioned, but you would have thought the club would have wanted engineer the press release for a time which would give it maximum impact in the local media.
That way, journalists can ask the kind of questions the supporters around the ground were on Tuesday night.
As it was, the ‘investment which secures the future of the club’ was announced in Vale’s usual ham-fisted fashion and contained so little detail as to render it virtually meaningless.
My first reaction was that this was the Ameriturf/AGS deal with bells on. Which begged the question: Whatever happened to the £1.2m deal trumpeted by the club on May 23?
Are Blue Sky a competitor of Ameriturf and what do they see in debt-ridden Port Vale? Surely it can’t be a coincidence that two major potential U.S. investors in the club are both in the same line of work.
Still, perhaps this bolt from the Blue Sky explains why no-one from Ameriturf has been available to talk to The Sentinel for the last four months.
When you examine the statement it is filled with jargon that I defy any ordinary fans to decipher.
For example, the investment includes £2.5m to develop ‘significant community outreach facilities throughout the Stoke-on-Trent area’. Huh? Has someone swallowed a council agenda? What does that even mean?
To be fair, the key part of the deal appears to be the £5 million being invested into Port Vale over the next 12 months. So what exactly is it being spent on?
We can argue the pros and cons of proposed plastic pitches at Chatterley Whitfield but completing the long-awaited Robbie Williams Suite and putting seats in the unfinished part of the Lorne Street makes absolute sense to me.
However, surely that doesn’t add up to £5m.
I’d like to think that my friend sitting behind me in the Bycars will soon learn that the manager will be given at least part of the investment to strengthen the squad.
It’s early days with this investment but the way in which it was announced, the many questions it begs and the ongoing lack of transparency at the club means the champagne is still on ice for me.
Given the fact that we could also only muster a crowd of 4,769 on Tuesday – despite the reduced admission offer – this tells me there are more than a few sceptics out there who feel exactly the same as I do.

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4 thoughts on “U.S. investment in Vale begs so many questions

  1. Kevin Reynolds says:

    As Mike Lloyd stated on Radio Stoke on Wednesday night’s drivetime programme the train is leaving the station and the fans need to be on it. He had better be quick to tell us what the timetable is and the true journey we are about to commence on.

  2. peter johansen says:

    Unless some detail is divulged to dissuade me otherwise my attitude towards this so-called investment will not change.

    Fans want to see investment in the team and squad (on the pitch) – that’s what will get fans back into the stadium. Fans want to see this club have a chance of some sustained success at long last. More empty seats to look at and some plastic pitches for our fourth division players to run around on will not impress anyone – other than the short-sighted. Some people may have been dazzled by the headline of £8 million but they will not stay dazzled for long.

  3. steve says:

    This seems a good investment for Blue Sky and those third parties that will be making money from it and that seems about it. This is not £8 million into Port Vale – in my opinion this is using Port Vale so that BS can use the UK and European grant system to sell their product, at the European taxpayers’ expense.

    I want to be positive about investment news from the club but I cannot be if the input into the actual club is minimal and offers no long-term business strategy for Port Vale. A new American Chairman will be announced and the Old Boys’ Club with funny hand shakes lives on whilst lining theirs and their friends pockets.

    It does seem a very odd ‘investment’. I can only hope there are other parties interested with proper investment in this ‘fan-run’ (lol) club. Prove the sceptics wrong, Lloyd and Deakin.

  4. Mike Lakin says:

    It’s a good job Lloyd and Perry ‘Spider’ Deakin aren’t like young Pinocchio or you would see there noses half way up Newcastle street.
    It is quite simply a big play on words. They know it – and so do all those who have put their brains in gear.

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