Date:Thursday May 1 2014
Vale boss Micky Adams will seek assurances from Chairman Norman Smurthwaite before deciding whether to commit his future to the club. After months of procrastination, Adams has finally been offered a new deal in writing. However, Adams has hinted he will only stay if he believes he has the financial capability to push the side on and admits there are other clubs interested in acquiring his services.
Vale look set for a top half finish in their first season back at this level, a creditable achievement. Countless times supporters have seen promising sides dismantled, so there is much hope that Adams and many of his 14 out of contract players sign on in a bid to mount a realistic assault on the play off places next year.
Whether that is attainable, who knows. The club have sold around 2800 season tickets by the end of April`s 'early bird` deadline, so look to be well down on last year`s figure of 4300. Smurthwaite has certainly begun to make more encouraging noises on that front as of late after initially revealing that the budget is likely to be cut for next season, Adams will, however, need convincing that he has the means to be able not only to keep hold of his key players, but also to add some much needed quality particularly in defensive areas.
Several players have made it clear that they would be keen to stay with the Vale, but on the condition that Adams remains in charge. The chairman has already revealed that he has no plan B, which could make for an uncomfortable summer for all concerned. The likes of captain Doug Loft, Chris Neal, Chris Lines, Richard Duffy, Jennison Myrie-Williams and the impressive on loan Billy Knott are all out of contract and likely to attract interest.
Adams told The Sentinel
"I think we have done great this season. I think we needed to push on in January and we could have, but obviously the money wasn`t there so we couldn`t do it.
I think personally we missed out on an opportunity to do well because I think the nucleus of the squad is there. We needed a few bodies.
I am not having a go at Norman. How can any of us sit here and judge Norman when he puts his hard-earned money into a football club. He has earned it; he can decide what he wants to do with it.
"But I certainly don`t want to throw all the goodwill and the spirit that we have got at this club by having a season where we are in a relegation battle - if that was the case next season because we haven`t been able to keep our better players and we haven`t got the players in that we wanted to take us to the higher echelons."
Smurthwaite, in response, has pledged to add a further 25% on top of the season ticket sales in a bid to entice Adams to stay. The move is permitted by the Football League as it would be an investment rather than a loan. It certainly is a positive response from the Vale chairman after previously stating that he believed the club wasn`t ready for promotion. Smurthwaite cannot be faulted for investing a significant chunk of money during his tenure.
However, it can also be a dangerous road to travel. The club needs to find ways of increasing commercial and non-match day income on its route to becoming self-sufficient, something it has failed to do for a number of years.
Date:Thursday May 1 2014
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