Port Vale: Questions remain unanswered over investment deal
SO is the multi-million pound deal that was trumpeted as Port Vale's salvation still on track? It is, after all, the question fans are asking.
Yesterday's short statement on the club's website regarding the status of the Blue Sky investment in Port Vale FC was prompted by questions posed by both The Sentinel and supporters' groups after weeks of speculation that the deal had unravelled.
Claiming to 'clarify the position for supporters', the statement instead prompted far more questions than it actually answered.
Apparently, the initial cash investment of £150,000 by Blue Sky in Vale shares has 'encountered contractual issues'.
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Does this mean the money that the club claimed more than a month ago had been pumped in by the U.S. company, enabling it to buy 8.93 per cent of the club's shares, isn't in the bank yet?
This leads, of course, to a far bigger question: If Vale have not yet received the £150,000 from Blue Sky then what chance have they got of actually seeing the £5m that was promised to be invested in the club by next September?
Chief executive Perry Deakin says the deal is still in place, but to be honest, none of what has happened in relation to the Vale in recent weeks makes any sense to me.
We are all still scratching our heads as to why the £1.2 million Ameriturf investment fell through, as neither the company nor the club have given supporters an explanation.
Then our saviour Blue Sky announced three weeks ago it was ploughing £1.25m into League One strugglers Yeovil Town.
This has only served to increase speculation that the company's deal with Vale had hit the buffers.
Let us recap: Supporters were told the £5m investment by Blue Sky would, among other things, lead to the creation of the much talked-about Robbie Williams suite and finally finish the seating in the Lorne Street stand.
We were even given a date for completion of the first project: December 17.
The club have revealed logistical matters have delayed the work on the suite, which, I presume, means the chances of hitting this deadline have decreased.
Indeed, I've seen nothing, no investment of any kind either on or off the field, to suggest we are a club that will shortly be rolling in dosh.
Surely even if the club only has the £350,000 invested by chief executive Perry Deakin, pictured left, and chairman Peter Miller in the kitty then we should be seeing some progress.
If we are so flush, why is Vale's manager scratching around to find enough fit players to field on Saturday because of injuries and suspensions rather than being allowed to dip into the loan market?
Yesterday's statement says Deakin will present 'a full and detailed report' on Vale's relationship with Blue Sky at the club's forthcoming annual meeting. Of course, that meeting has been put back from its usual December slot to February… leaving fans to wait even longer for crucial information on the health and prosperity of their club.
Instead of stalling, I believe it is time that the new regime delivered the openness it promised.