I was going to write a blog today about the goings-on at Port Vale Football Club. Instead, I texted Micky Adams to tell him that I, and all of us, are 100 per cent behind him, Grewy and the lads – irrespective of what goes on off the field.
Now I’m going to let the fans tell you what they think. Please add to the first comment from Steve below by emailing me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep the faith and I hope to see hundreds of fans at Monday night’s emergency Supporters’ Club meeting at Burslem WMC at 7.30pm.
I find myself swinging from moods of anger, incredulity, frustration, more anger and then a feeling of desperate resignation. I’m really struggling to keep the faith as a Vale fan right now. I live 200 miles away so life being a Valiant is not easy and the current shenanigans really test my willingness to continue to care. But then my mood changes again back to the anger phase and I want to see my club rid of these parasites who are currently sucking the life blood out of the club. I didn’t think it could get any worse after the previous incumbents but it seems we’ve been “sold” (oh the irony!) well and truly down the river.
I hope there’s more to come in future articles and that the positions of Miller, Deakin et al becomes untenable and that they’re run out of town.
Isle Of Sheppey
It would be unprintable, Martin. To think that these people tried to tarnish my name! Feel so angry watching this unfold!
Mo Chaudry (Via Twitter)
Absolutely disgusted by the whole mess created by the previous Board. The way they fought tooth and nail to prevent Mo Chaudry taking control only to leave the club to these underhanded opportunists has been sickening. Only hope they do the decent thing and resign now they have been exposed but I won’t hold my breath and still wonder how long the club can continue to trade. What next? The Conference and beyond?
I’ve been a Vale supporter all my life, and being 21 the times that I have in memory are generally of Vale lower down the league structure.This has never been an issue for me, however, as supporting the club that I love was my only priority and I have always done this avidly. However the developments over the past few weeks have left me embarrassed and ashamed to be a Port Vale fan. In the past few seasons I have not missed a home game. However, now I have completely lost the desire to attend, the will to stand up and be counted as a Port Vale fan has been stripped from me. The current board have, in my opinion, taken advantage of a club in turmoil for nothing apart from personal gain. This is a disgraceful act that I feel will inevitably lead to the end of Port Vale football club, maybe forever. It makes me feel sick.
Having followed your articles and being an avid Vale supporter for some 55 years I find it hard to comprehend what is happening, and being allowed to happen at my beloved club.
The chairman and another are voted on to the board with what can only be described as “slight of hand” tactics by letting those voting believe shares have been purchased by the said individuals when, in fact, no money has actually chaunged hands.
Then the said people [board] decide that the chairman should be on £100,000 plus various perks.
Ken Wilshaw Long-time Vale Supporter
Martin, well done for some excellent articles and all the hard work you and the members of the supporters club have done to expose these clowns for what they are. I have today cancelled my matchball sponsorship for the Macclesfield game on Easter Monday and having sponsored many games in the past feel this is my way of protesting at the lies and utter mismanagement these idiots have created. I was one of the vocal ones last year protesting, black and gold, SEO but after BGWC i thought I would give them a chance and reluctantly re-newed my season ticket and sponsored the Grimsby FA cup game on the back of the bsi deal. I now feel duped and cheated and embarrassed at the way they have conned me and will never forgive them. I feel that the supporters cannot trust Deakin and Miller now. It has gone too far and their position at the club is untenable – no matter what evidence they have its all shot. They will never be trusted again and it’s irreversible in my opinion. I call on all the Vale Fans to turn up at the next SC meeting and together as one we can get these charletons out of our club
John Amos (Hamil Carpets)
It is about time for direct action to remove these parasites from our club. Legal action is urgently required. Fans should boycott games, strong protests and other tactics need to be deployed as soon as possible to make the self-serving directors’ lives as uncomfortable as possible until the goals of removal are reached. We have a local, successful businessman who is hopefully still interested who could take the reins and pull this club back from the abyss before 136 years of history are wiped out forever.
I’m a fan of over 30 years and never have I been so low with everything that’s going on. It could have been so different if Bratt and co. weren’t so, well… let’s just say against Mo Chaudry buying the club. They then let anyone in as long as it wasn’t mo or Mark Sims. Total madness. Now we are left with these misleading, money-grabbing directors. I now feel the Vale is on its knees. We must be close to admin. Then what? They bugger off to where they came from and leave us fans with losing a club we all love. Now I’m appealing to the FA to come in and then finally to Mo and Mark to get back involved and help us.
I am totally embarrassed at what is happening to OUR club. The previous board fought tooth and nail to keep us an unambitious also-ran. Last season we saw some hope. With a tiny bit of ambition we could have turned the corner, unfortunately it turned into the season long equivalent to that home match v QPR. We’ve now got a situation where the ideal of a fan-run club has proved elusive. It was open to manipulation and manipulated it was. Regardless of “proof” submitted by the club the question remains, why did Miller and Deakin keep the truth about their share “purchases” from shareholders? Why are they still trying to fight their corner when Hank has categorically stated Blue Sky will not invest in the club. They both need to go. Their actions are shameful, immoral and disgusting. The fans need to unite to rid them from the club. NOW!!
Having been to the last three SC meets it was obvious all this was about to happen. I cannot understand how these two people could think they would get away with it. I’ve emailed my MP with my concerns and also emailed Deakin and Miller asking them to leave our club. Somehow I don’t think a reply will be forthcoming. Thank you, Martin and the rest of the SC committee.
This is what happens when you start from a position of mistrust as this new regime did after the EGM. The current situation at the club is nothing short of incredible. I’m in a state of absolute disbelief.
Cautious optimism when the BSI deal was announced, but now it appears some backtracking is going on following Hank Julicher’s comments in The Sentinel today. It appears to me that they’re trying to cover their tracks. Administration was laughed off six months ago. Now it appears that Miller and Deakin needed to get on to the board quickly to stave off administration. How is it possible that purchasing shares at nil value can prevent administration? Is it coincidental that Miller and Deakin paid for their shares the very week they were challenged on the SH-01 form? Deakin readily admits, when he’s rattled after Sharegate, that the club was ‘in a shocking state six months ago’. No mention of this prior to the EGM. Deakin makes a statement that Miller is worth his remuneration. This gives me grave concerns as it takes just a few minutes to uncover information about Miller’s time at Luton Town which hardly paints him in a good light.
Miller said to judge him in three months. So far, he has brought nothing but trouble with him. AGS look like they’re going to sue. BSI claim the deal was dead a long time ago, yet Miller claims the opposite. Is he really worth £8,500 / month plus car, flights, accommodation, expenses and no doubt other perks? At the end of this, the trust has gone. They cannot continue. The entire board should resign immediately. Ultimately, what Peter Miller and Perry Deakin really fail to understand is the mentality of the people of Stoke-on-Trent. We prefer that things are said straight and truthfully. We place our trust in people and get very angry when that trust is abused. We do not want this double talk, ambiguous nonsense that regularly appears as an official club statement. What we certainly do not want is people who seem to be playing political games with our club, while the club is in serious risk of folding.
Steve Evans, Helsinki
I am reminded of Aesop’s fable – The Ass in the Lion’s skin: An Ass, having put on the lion’s skin, amused himself by terrifying all his fellow animals. At last coming upon a Fox, he tried to frighten him also, but the Fox no sooner heard the sound of his voice than he exclaimed, “I might possibly have been frightened myself, if I had not heard your bray.” The moral of the story is often quoted as Clothes may disguise a fool, but his words will give him away. Mr Deakin / Mr Miller / Mr Lloyd – your words and deeds appear to have given you away.
The Legal Beagle
Mr Tideswell, I will save you the bother of removing the swear words from my post and put the removed words in myself.
Get the **** out of my club (life) which I have supported for over 35 years and **** off back to where you came from. I would sooner admin than you ****** *****!.
I have family members’ ashes scattered over that pitch and I will tell you now that they would kick you all the way down Hamil Road and make sure you got on the last special out of Longport never to return.
What is the old adage? If something appears too good to be true, it usually is.
Around the time of the EGM I actually felt proud again to be a Vale fan – people pulling together to make a difference for the future of THEIR club – even more worthy was that they did this for no financial gain. The conduct with which the old board clung on with their fingertips does them no credit along with the ill-conceived, ill thought out appointment of a journeyman CEO, whose long term deals for short term gain we have yet to discover the toxic debt inside.
The conduct of the new incumbents beggars belief – even by recent standards – and shows the previous board up to their true colours: They were never that interested in giving up control just serving their own purposes.
Mr Miller and Mr Deakin have gone on record in the last few days justifying the nil value shares transfer as a means of serving the wishes of the supporters to remove the previous board: very noble of them!
Mr Miller’s position in many eyes was justified solely by his integral part in bringing the £5m/£8m/50p worth of investment into The Vale and without it his position is surely untenable.
Mr Deakin’s position in all this is clouded by spin/bluster and by association also has to be in a position where he is so tarnished with all the misleading information he cannot have a future.
Don’t even get me started on Mr Lloyd and Oliver.
I’m a shareholder, supporter of 35 years, ex-season ticket holder, ex box holder. I just want my club back!
The last game I attended was the 7-2 win over Morecombe last season. After the fiasco at the EGM in June I vowed never to give another penny to the board after they survived a vote of no confidence.Since then it seems to have gone from bad to worse and trust in the board is at an all time low. I have supported this wonderful football club for 51 years but until I regain some faith and trust in the people in charge I will continue to stay away. Miller,Deakin,Lloyd and Oliver are no longer wanted at Vale Park and have lost all credibility in my eyes. Please give me someone who can regain my trust – someone who can give me so hope and ambition so I can return to my beloved Vale.
I am extremely saddened by the current turmoil at Vale Park. I have supported the Vale for 35 years and made the grave mistake of purchasing some shares as a “gift” to the club. Unfortunately, like many supporters, I feel that the new regime and the previous one have trampled all over us in their lust for power, and the names of Bratt, Jackson, Deakin and Miller will live long in my memory as the people who brought our club to its knees.
I didn’t renew my season ticket in the summer – not an easy decision – and have staged my own mini-protest by not going to Vale Park this season. Basically, the whole shambles – on and off the pitch – depresses me and I feel a lot better staying away.
Time for these JOKERS to GO. Fed up with lies. Scrap the board and start again.
TIME FOR MO CHAUDRY
Firstly I would like to say what a wonderful job you and The Sentinel have done over the last week or so its been really refreshing to see the local media finally begin to objectively report on all the off field antics at Port Vale. I have several issues with the board and the club in general. However, I feel that they are very similar to everybody else’s (no: 1 being Trust). I do have one issue I would like to raise, however. Throughout the last 12 months or so I have not allowed myself to be dragged into the SEO or B&G campaigns etc. I have continued to support the team 100% as I firmly believe this has had a huge impact on player performance and I believe it has had a direct influence on our current divisional standing. I would, however, be completely behind a one-off, away from a match protest or demonstration that encapsulated every Port Vale fans concerns uniting all divides of Port Vale with one aim, that being to highlight on a national basis just what has happened at Port Vale over the last 5 years or so. That said this could only be successful via the media streams that I guess are available to somebody like yourself? I don’t know if this can or will happen but we must do something. It seems the board will dig their heels in and try to ride this storm out just as their predecessors have done. It’s fast becoming a joke at Port Vale. How can we ever hope to encourage new investment given the current situation ? I am a box holder at Port Vale and have supported the club commercially several times over the past five years or so. It really saddens me to think that in order to progress off the field the only options available are Administration or Blue Square.
Paul Johnson, Box 42
When the BSI investment news broke I remember initially feeling cautiously optimistic, which was quickly replaced by a feeling of growing uneasiness. Just why would we, a basement division club, be on the recieving end of such an attractive sounding deal? The fact the news was broken on the club’s own website rather than being shouted from the rooftops only added to this. Even with that in mind I would have never have imagined just how badly the state of affairs at the club could decline in such a short period of time.
The responsibility for this lies squarely at the feet of the previous and current board. Just how a group of people with Vale in their hearts could have allowed the likes of Deakin and Miller anywhere near the place is beyond me. Surely a background check was in order? Also, how have they passed any fit and proper persons test from the Football League? I don’t know if any of the dealings have been illegal or just immoral but we have certainly been decieved from start to finish.
I grew up a Vale fan because my dad was a Vale fan. I’d like to think that my young son has the Vale in his blood and that it’s not too late for him to have a club to support.
Well done to the Supporters Club, The Sentinel, NLV, Martin Tideswell and all others involved in bringing this into the light. We have to get them out- by hook or by crook
Martin, This is a letter I sent to Perry Deakin. You won’t be surprised to hear I’ve had no response…
Before I begin, let me give you a little background on me and my long term support of Port Vale. I am a 44-year-old professional working for a FTSE 100 company who specialises in delivery of complex change and post acquisition mergers and integration and therefore would like to think I know a little about making change happen. I am also a father of two and until the last two season, my entire family of four held season tickets in the Railway Paddock and indeed, my son was club mascot for the Cup run to Villa park a few years back under Martin Foyle.
I have supported Port Vale with a passion for over 37 years travelling home and away and sometimes travelling long distances so that I did not miss a home match.
Until recently, I held a season ticket in the Railway Paddock for close to 20 years and have for the last two years paid on the gate – missing just one match this season. I am also a small shareholder and answered the call by V2001 to buy shares.
I am also no activist and in fact, I am what politicians would call a ‘moderate’ and have often posted on sites such as OVF views which are contrary to the more extreme views.
I organised the Internet collection for John Rudge when he was dismissed by Bill Bell and I also spoke at length to Stephen Plant when he called earlier this year on behalf of the club and I offered what he described as some ‘constructive and reasonable’ suggestions as to how change could be effected at Vale Park.
I also offered to give up my own time and meet with members of the Board to discuss although this option was never taken up and I did not hear from Mr Plant again.
So with this background I would class myself as a loyal, passionate, reasonable and mature supporter – exactly the type of supporter that the club should be looking to retain and encourage.
Unfortunately, the events of the last 12 months and in particular, the revelations of this week have finally tipped me over the edge and I have decided with deep regret, never to visit Vale Park again until genuine, transparent, open and honest change is implemented.
For me, this is like deciding to leave my wife even though I still love her deeply and is not an easy decision but I feel I cannot simply stand by and continue to support a Board who do nothing to help themselves.
I am not going to get into the rights and wrongs of exactly what has happened as you will undoubtedly use counter claims to disprove my points. However; my perception is that the supposed ‘change’ that was agreed following the EGM and the ‘deal’ with Blue Sky is nothing more than a sham, born more out of self interest and self motivation than for the good of the club and the conduct of the Board since the EGM has failed to demonstrated the levels of loyalty and honesty that I believe are required and were promised.
In short, I now do not trust anything that the current board says, does or promises.
Regardless of whether the manner in which the appointment of Mr Miller to the post of Chairman was conducive with common practice; whether the way in which Mr Miller and yourself acquired your shares was right or whether the board feels under siege from a section of supporters; it was incumbent on you and your fellow directors to ensure that the distrust of the past two years was swept away with the levels of openness, honesty and transparency you promised and that not only the supporters, but your fellow shareholders were clearly informed of these mechanisms and that Mr Miller was to be appointed with what I consider a very generous package.
I do not begin to speculate as you personal motivations for involvement with the club and your rationale for conducting business in this manner but, given two of your fellow directors only retained their positions by a last minute and in my opinion, disingenuous deal with Broxap, and that they were essentially ‘voted off’ the Board by the remainder of the shareholding, I believe it is your responsibility along with Mr Miller to conduct business in the most honourable way possible.
Finally, I believe the planned treatment of the Sproson family by the club is nothing short of scandalous – for the price of a cup of tea and a few sandwiches, the club could have built some bridges with the supporter base by recognising the contribution this family has made to our history and heritage.
If the club is going to act in such a petty manner towards these people then I am afraid it is no place for me.
thevaliant67 (name and address withheld)
You wanted the views of Vale fans. Many have been vocal in the past few months, many more have been silent. For the first time in many months the vast majority of Vale fans speak has one.
I am a fourth generation Vale fan, my great grandfather, grandfather and father were all Vale fans. Their collective “spinning in their graves” is so great, as a result of recent revelations, that it threatens the balance of the earth’s axis!
My dad took me to my first Vale game in 1970 to see Gordon Lee’s team beat Darlington 4 – 0. For over 40 years like many I have suffered the trials and tribulations of being a Vale fan.
Failure as a “team” and relegation battles are all part of being a football fan, not pleasant and painful at the time, but frequently forgotten as we become seduced by a new infusion of optimism as we make another signing!
However, events over the last 12 months have brought nothing but embarrassment and even shame. The previous Board and the current incumbents have managed to drag the name of the club through the proverbial mud.
Then, just when you think it cannot get worse, it gets worse!
How much lower can we sink? (Don’t say Unibond league!)
Through my work I have contacts all over the country who almost to a man (and woman) know that I am a Vale fan. I have lost count of the number of times that I have been asked “What the hell is going on at your club?” I usually give the same response, “ I haven’t a clue”!
The current “custodians” may have acted legally, but they are totally lacking in morality. Their acts and presence not only brings Vale name into disrepute but also football.
By what stretch of the imagination can these people be called “fit and proper” to run a football club?
I am reminded of Oliver Cromwell’s oratory, paraphrased by Leo Amery in May 1940 in a debate on the fall of Norway and aimed at Neville Chamberlain.
Oliver Cromwell Speech – Dissolution of the Long Parliament
Dissolution of the Long Parliament by Oliver Cromwell given to the House of Commons, 20 April 1653
It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.
Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter’d your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?
Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil’d this sacred place, and turn’d the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors.
In the name of God, go and go now!
I never thought I would use Oliver Cromwell and Vale in the same sentence!
Keep up the excellent work, you so eloquently put into words the thoughts of many Vale fans. The last few days have seen a renaissance of The Sentinel in the eyes of many Vale fans – in fact, football fans of all clubs. Your efforts predate that renaissance.
As a Vale supporter of over 35 years I have experienced more lows than highs I thought that I could deal with – anything that my beloved club could throw at me.
However, the actions of Mr Miller and Mr Deakin leave me feeling both totally disillusioned and embarrassed. The appointment of both to the board maybe legal (although how BSI can vote in an election when they haven’t paid for shares may be one for the lawyers) but by not telling share holders that their shares have not been paid for makes it far from moral.
Mr Deakin continually makes reference to “normal business practices”. Well, as for me, respecting and listening to your customers is a key business practise and one that Mr Deakin seems to be totally incapable of.
As for the £100k plus package for Mr Miller: Who in their right mind would offer such a package? Port Vale simply can not afford such a liability. It is financial suicide.
I would like to see the job description that has been written to justify such as salary. There is most probably worse news to come and Mr Miller and Mr Deakin look set for a fight; I think administration would be a disaster for the club but, unfortunately, if they are not rapidly removed it may become inevitable.
Keep up the good work with your articles.
For my hapeth: I am as angry as any Vale fan, supporter, season ticket holder, shaeholder and SC member.
We’ve been had. I fear the future AND the whirlwind.
Port Vale will never make forward strides as a football club until there is unity and trust between the supporters and the board of directors. This situation is impossible to achieve with the current directors because the fans believe they were elected fraudulently. They have no love or passion for the Port Vale and are only interested in what they can take out of our beloved club. For everyone’s long-term good, I would ask the board to please leave now and let us pick up the threads before anymore damage is inflicted.
Firstly I would like to thank all those that have been involved in uncovering and making the fans and shareholders aware of the conduct of Perry Deakin, Peter Miller, Mike Lloyd and Glenn Oliver.
Like many others, I am appalled by their behaviour and attitude towards my club. Like many others, I don’t understand their defence of “It’s standard business practice”. I really don’t care what they or the rest of the business world class as standard. In Burslem if you tell people that you have brought/purchased/invested in something its standard meaning is that you have parted with your own money for said product. They might consider that they have stayed within the legalities of the law and I am sure in time that we will find out one way or another. But morally they have acted with the utmost contempt towards the fans, shareholders and indeed the team alike.
What infuriates me even more than Perry Deakin and Peter Miller’s, how shall I put it?, “Sharp practices”, is how Glenn Oliver and Mike Lloyd have allowed this to take place. The sooner these morally bankrupt individuals are out of Port Vale Football Club the better.