Port Vale edge closer to getting rid of despised Smurthwaite

Port Vale are closing in on a takeover deal that will see unpopular chairman Norman Smurthwaite finally out of the club.

Valiants fans have staged protests in recent weeks at what they see as a disastrous stewardship of the club by Smurthwaite, who has overseen relegation from League One and now has the club perilously close to dropping out of the Football League.

Whilst that is an unlikely outcome after a couple of good results, it’s widely felt they have to get rid of the chairman in order to carry the club forward. He even threatened to put them into administration rather than sell on the cheap this week, but an end may now be in sight.

The current Chief Executive has told the BBC that there’s now an end in sight for the long-suffering fans, with a deal for Carol and Kevin Shanahan to take over moving closer.

“There has been a great deal of dialogue between the two parties over the last 10 days,” said Colin Garlick.

“There is still much work to be done as Carol and Kevin work through the legal process and the English Football League compliance procedure. I, along with my staff, will be doing all we can to help them during this time.”

The Shanahans own IT company Synectics Solutions and have previously made three attempts to buy the club and its Vale Park ground. The latter is also is owned by Smurthwaite through a separate company and has to be negotiated for separately.

Their most recent offer is thought to have been in the region of £4m.

Our View

This is another of those rotten owners driving a club into the ground. We’ve seen it at Charlton, Coventry and Blackpool as well as a number of other clubs over the years.

There’s no guarantee that when he’s gone things will improve, but there is no way things will get better with the current chairman at the helm.

This is good news for all Vale fans, but they’ll be waiting for some solid movement, not just good intentions.

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