So far so good for Vale’s new saviour Paul Wildes

Well, he turned up – which is a start. It’s something Keith Ryder didn’t do when named as the preferred bidder for Port Vale six months ago.

Back then I wasn’t bothered. Yesterday, badly scarred by Ryder’s vanishing act, I absolutely was.

Paul Wildes had also had a shave, something else Keef never seemed to get around to all the times I met him.

In addition, the new man appears to have a background which he’s comfortable talking about – another reason for Vale supporters to perhaps have more confidence that this takeover may actually go through.

Until the Football League are happy and until contracts are signed, however, no Vale fan can or should feel happy or content.

But, if first impressions are anything to go by, then I have to say I was pleased when I met the new preferred bidder briefly before the press conference as a Supporters’ Club representative.

He’s articulate, clearly has a sense of humour (that’ll come in handy) and he said all the right things about wanting to work with both the supporters and the local media.

What he is under no illusions about is that talk is cheap which is why not holding a fans’ forum until after the deal is done is a smart move.

Having said that, paying the £100,000 non-refundable deposit yesterday is a decent start.

As you’d expect, he’s done his homework and knows the politics of the Vale have been a minefield and, in some respects, still are.

That’s no bad thing but he was right to point out that he’s not responsible for what’s gone before and should only be judged on what he personally says and does.

When someone says the word ‘sustainable’ I normally doze off – awaiting a lecture on renewable energies.

But when Paul Wildes said it yesterday I was heartened that he is looking at Vale as a long-term project and his key stated aim is to make the club that word – sustainable.

I have to say there was more meat on the bones of his bid yesterday and more substance to his vision than we have seen with any previous bidder.

But the most encouraging thing for me was that the club staff, including manager Micky Adams seemed genuinely upbeat after meeting the new man.

The gaffer reckons that Paul Wildes is a bloke he can work with who had ‘spoken more sense and been more honest in half an hour’ than many of the previous directors and bidders ever were.

Coming from the gaffer that was some admission and a sign, perhaps, that we can have a little more faith in Mr Wildes.

It is early days, yes, but there is nothing to suggest that this deal won’t go ahead or that Paul Wildes doesn’t have either the financial wherewithall or the business acumen to deliver on his promises.

If he does, he will be able to draw upon a huge reservoir of goodwill from Vale fans desperate for this to be the real deal.

Read my Port Vale articles every Friday during the season in The Sentinel

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2 thoughts on “So far so good for Vale’s new saviour Paul Wildes

  1. Simon Brittain says:

    Seems to have a lot more sense and decorum than any of the other parties that have tried to get their mits on the club in the recent past.
    Obviously has the business acumen to deal with the club and plenty of ideas of how the club should move forward off the pitch which can only be a good thing, more cash off the field / more cash on it.
    Looking forward to things now, still with a bit of trepidation but more positive than i have felt in a long time.

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