The Culture Of Mistrust At Port Vale

This weekend, Port Vale’s board are due to publish answers to 141(141!) questions from fans about a proposed multi-million pound investment by American ‘sports construction’ firm ‘Blue Sky International.’ A full Vale article on this site will follow that publication. But there was a Vale vignette this week, demonstrating the mistrust which pervades the club and looks likely to do so for a while yet, whatever the investment. At first glance, it was a strong show of faith. Vale CEO Perry Deakin and acting chairman Mike Lloyd returned from an August trip to America busting to tell everyone what they did on their summer holidays. Vale needed investment. The board claimed they were looking for it. And Lloyd and Deakin believed they’d found it – “strings-attached” direct and indirect investment which could add up to £8m in a certain light. This investment arrived ahead of schedule – due by the thirtieth of September, outlined in a press release dated the thirteenth of September. Deakin was particularly pleased. So, on the twenty-first of September, he announced his candidacy for a seat on Vale’s board and a personal £100,000 investment into the club. And there was a bonus. Reviled former chairman, CEO and current director Bill Bratt had given written pledges to resign from the board completely, something for which Vale fans had long-campaigned, once the Blue Sky (BSI) investment was confirmed. Bratt’s...

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