The resignation of Perry Deakin from his role as chief executive at Port Vale came as no great shock to me.
I am only surprised that it took him so long to realise that his position was utterly untenable.
Deakin’s quotes in The Sentinel story which exposed how the board intended to use Blue Sky money to purchase £500,000 worth of shares for him and Peter Miller to use spoke volumes.
To me they smacked of the fracturing of the unholy alliance and were spoken by a man clearly desperate to distance himself from some, shall we say, rather unsavoury goings-on.
The fact that Mr Deakin has been forced to quit is a victory for common sense. More importantly, it is a victory for supporter-power.
However, make no mistake: This is simply the first battle and in order for fans to win the war Messrs Miller, Lloyd and Oliver must also be removed from office.
There can be no plea bargain and no escape this time for the remnants of the old regime.
To be honest, I was appalled when we were initially told that both the chairman and chief executive would be away from the club until January 4. Talk about a rudderless ship.
Given that they delayed the AGM until February to avoid the club’s ‘busiest period of the year’, you would have thought those at the helm would have given themselves a huge holiday at this time.
Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? Messrs Miller and Deakin – and Lloyd and Oliver for that matter – are lying low.
They are avoiding the supporters because they don’t want to face the music. They have been rumbled. Their mismanagement of our club has been laid bare for all to see:
Nil-paid shares being issued, a phantom investment and God knows what else has gone on.
Mr Miller needs to understand that he can only hide for so long.
I doubt America will want to keep him for any longer than it has to.
Glenn Oliver and Mike Lloyd need to realise that they can only refuse to talk to the Press (and supporters) and play the ‘I didn’t know anything about it’ card for so long.
Their silence is an affront to ordinary Vale fans and the shareholders whom they purport to represent.
All four directors are equally culpable for the current shocking state of affairs at Vale Park.
They have overseen a scandalous betrayal of the fanbase who have been lied to, misled and misinformed again and again.
Perry Deakin needs to go as soon as possible – never mind him hanging around until he has worked for the club for 12 months.
The other three need to follow him out of the door before the last of the turkey has been eaten.
Now, more than ever, Port Vale needs a clean break from the past.
What we don’t want is some fudge whereby former directors resurface as ‘white knights’ to save the Vale.
If they really want to help the club they can do as Stan Meigh has pledged and help the Supporters’ Club affect real change for the better.
Let’s aim for an interim board with no baggage – and no axes to grind: People who are acceptable to all Vale supporters and shareholders.
Let’s have a proper look at the club’s finances and see what damage has been done by the muppets who have been running the club in recent months.
Then, and only then, can we plan for a future in which genuine investors will want to touch Port Vale.
There can’t be a Vale fan left on the planet who trusts or wants the current directors anymore.
Good riddance to Perry Deakin and a Merry Christmas to every Vale supporter – wherever you are.
Keep the faith and keep fighting.
Read my Port Vale columns every Friday during the season in The Sentinel