There’s understandable anger and resentment among some Port Vale supporters at present – not only towards the sad excuse for a board of directors, but also towards fellow fans.
After the huge success of the ‘red card’ protest at the home game against Aldershot, there’s frustration that we are not now united as one single body of concerned supporters.
I actually think we are and that the vast, vast majority of fans want rid of the jokers currently running our club. In fact, I know we are.
The problem is that you can’t herd cats.
Some supporters can’t understand the apathy. They want to know why everyone isn’t standing in the cold outside the main entrance before and after games to vent their feelings towards Messrs Miller, Deakin, Lloyd and Oliver.
I’ll tell you why: People have places to go and things to do which they feel are more important than joining a protest. Others will never protest – no matter how dire the situation becomes at Vale Park.
That, I’m afraid, is the truth of the matter and thus there’s no point beating ourselves up about it.
I’m certainly not going to sit in judgement of those supporters who don’t protest or who hurry past the demonstrations with their heads down. That’s their choice.
We can gnash our teeth all we want – it won’t change a damn thing – and the last thing we should be doing is falling out over it.
Instead, I think we should be focusing on the positives right now. What positives?, I hear you cry.
Well, almost 3,000 fans held up red cards at the Aldershot game. Gimmicky or not, that was a pretty damning indictment of the whole board of directors (Mike Lloyd please take note).
On Saturday, the Supporters’ Club – through volunteers – held a poll at the turnstiles over the forthcoming EGM and the use of the proxy for the Robbie Williams’ shareholding to remove the four directors from office.
Anyone who caught of glimpse of the votes will know that the result is something of a foregone conclusion – with the overwhelming majority of supporters wanting ride of the entire board.
So while very few fans are prepared to actually demonstrate at this moment, I would argue that we are united where it counts – behind an endeavour which has more chance of succeeding in removing the deluded directors than protesting has on its own.
Let’s also not forget that Perry Deakin has resigned, Peter Miller has been sacked and the enigma that is Glenn Oliver has pledged to stand down at the AGM.
At the same time the unholy alliance has fractured to such an extent that the directors are falling over themselves to blame each other for the Blue Sky debacle/nil paid shares/mortgage (insert as appropriate).
Frustrating as the current situation may be, rest assured things are happening behind the scenes.
If, as seems likely, it is going to take an EGM to remove the likes of Mike Lloyd – then so be it.
In order for that to happen, however, certain ducks need to be in a row.
The Supporters’ Club has to jump through a number of hoops and be seen to be consulting with the entire fanbase (or as many as can be bothered) lest it be accused of being simply a vehicle for troublemakers (not my words).
There are so many ifs, buts and maybes at present that it’s difficult to see the wood for the trees.
The key is for us to find out just how bad a state Vale’s finances are in so that we can determine what measures are necessary to put the club on an even keel.
In addition, potential investors and those who would be prepared to sit on an interim board need to be sounded out to find out under what circumstances they would be prepared to become involved with Port Vale.
If this all sounds a bit too airy-fairy and long-winded for you, then I’m sorry.
But I genuinely believe that this war can only be won by fighting on all fronts – via demonstrations, yes, but also via democratic consultation with as many supporters as possible and through recognised business procedures and legal channels.
If I know one thing it is this: The positions of all four directors are untenable because they have misled fans, shareholders and Port Vale’s employees and they are all shockingly incompetent. We may have to be patient, but if they don’t leave of their own volition, rest assured they will be forced out of our club.