Port Vale have parted company with manager Neil Aspin.
The club announced the news via the clubs website in statements made by Aspin and the club chairman Norman Smurthwaite.
In his statement, Aspin said he felt it was in the best interests of the club that he resigned with Immediate effect to put an end to speculation regarding his future. He added, “Anyone who knows me and who knows my association with the Club as a player and now Manager will know it is a very difficult decision and one I haven’t taken lightly.”
Smurthwaite insisted he accepted Aspin’s resignation with a “heavy heart” but went on to outline how he had increased the playing budget this season without a corresponding improvement in results. He said, “We do operate in a results-driven business, and our recent results have not been what we had all hoped, and I have reluctantly now agreed to accept Neil’s resignation.”
Vale fans soon took to social media to react to the news. On the whole, they were very sympathetic towards club legend Aspin, reserving their anger for the controversial owner and chairman Smurthwaite, many questioning the timing of the decision, coming as it does with only one day left of the transfer window, giving any new manager no time to bring in fresh faces.
Here is a selection of their responses.
It's very poor timing and we may never know all the facts.
I wish neil Aspin well and he'll always be a legend in my heart.
The club needs root and branch change – Sell the club
— Peter Cartlidge (@petecart75) January 30, 2019
Smurf has pushed away and not backed a legend . We will finish bottom. People won’t realise how well he actually did under the circumstances till now he is gone
— David Meloy (@Vernonsdave) January 30, 2019
Will Norman be managing the team from now on to display his knowledge of football!?
— Valiant (@j33p2006) January 30, 2019
Shame for Neil Aspin good luck in the future.
All we want now is for SMURFWAITE TO SELL THE CLUB. A S A P.
— Jeff Forrester (@JeffForrester15) January 30, 2019
What a load of b&**#@s coming out of Smurthwaite’s mouth.
— Neil Stevenson (@valiantneil) January 30, 2019
“Increased budget”??? Liar ? 1 day and 10 hours left in this transfer window – you can do it Smurf!!!! – hang on to that ‘budget’ ???
— Sally Machin (@sallyjm66) January 30, 2019
It's the right thing for Aspin to do but the timings poor and we'll just have to see what happens next I guess
— Jack Hudson (@jackhud98) January 30, 2019
"Neil being the gentleman that he is had offered his resignation to me previously but I felt that with the squad that we had and the opportunity to strengthen that the season could be turned around" .. in other words I didn't want to spend money in January. Joke Norman.
— Football Rated (@supfootballers) January 30, 2019