So there you have it. After weeks of speculation, rumour, denial, claims and counter claims the wheels have officially come off.
Today’s damning revelations – published in The Sentinel – will fuel the fires of mistrust between supporters and the fledgling board of directors. And rightly so.
The admission that, at the time Perry Deakin and Peter Miller were elected to the board they hadn’t put a penny into the club, and that the chairman is receiving a salary and perks certainly blew a hole in their credibility with supporters at last night’s meeting.
Enough said. It is time that the Chairman and Chief Executive answered the following key questions posed by supporters in recent weeks.
1) Were Mr Deakin’s ‘nil paid’ shares or the Blue Sky ‘nil paid’ shares used in the recent votes to elect either Mr Miller or Mr Deakin to the board?
2) Who authorised the issuing of ‘nil paid’ shares? Was it done via a board meeting?
3) Crucially, is the multi-million pound Blue Sky investment still happening within the promised time-frame – i.e. £5 million into the club’s bank account within 12 months of the deal being announced on Sept 13? If not, why not?
4) Why on September 30 did the club’s website state that Blue Sky had purchased £150,000 worth of shares earlier in the week when Mr Deakin admitted yesterday these shares had been issued with no money being paid into Port Vale?
5) Why did the Ameriturf deal fall through? Does the club intend to fight the threatened legal action by Ameriturf Global Systems?
6) Why should the chairman of the club receive a salary and benefits when we already have a paid CEO and club secretary and the figurehead role was previously unpaid?
7) What is the time-frame for the Chatterley Whitfield development? How far have talks gone? Has any planning permission been sought with Stoke-on-Trent City Council?
8) Why, in this new era of openness and transparency, have neither the chairman nor chief executive seen fit to meet with ordinary supporters at a public meeting since their election to the board despite both Mr Deakin and Mike Lloyd promising at previous meetings at Baddeley Green WMC that they would do so?
9) Is it true that club sponsor Harlequin have asked for any of their money back now that Bill Bratt has stepped down from the board?
10) Why can’t the AGM be moved to an evening meeting to allow more shareholders and fans to attend?
11) What are the actual start and completion dates for the Robbie Williams suite given we know that the original completion date of December 17 now won’t be hit?
12) Can you confirm that you have been paying off the interest on the loan from Stoke-on-Trent City Council or is the club still enjoying a payment holiday?
I’m not holding my breath for the answers.