Port Vale: Vale buyout talks set to begin as club goes into administration
THE man appointed to save Port Vale hopes to have a buyer lined-up for the stricken club within the next four weeks.
Bob Young, who was installed as Vale's joint-administrator yesterday, has already received three inquiries from potential buyers and is set to hold talks with two of them next week.
His aim is to complete a deal before the end of the season, when Stoke-on-Trent City Council's £600,000 bail-out fund is estimated to run out.
If that happens and no buyer is found, then the club faces going out of business.
With a takeover deal expected to take three months to complete, Young has little time to waste.
He said: "If all goes well I would like to identify a name as our preferred option in four weeks' time.
"But I'm not just going to accept the highest bid unless I can be sure that they can afford the club.
"A potential buyer will have to prove that they've got the funds to both buy the club and that they can run it thereafter.
"I would hope that would be achievable within four weeks.
"In terms of actually completing the deal we're probably looking at sometime within the next three months."
Once Young has spent a month identifying a potential buyer, it is likely to be a further three weeks to seal a deal with the club's creditors.
The Football League will then have to approve any deal, a process which took around five weeks when Valiant 2001 took the club out of administration in 2003.
Young and his Begbies Traynor colleagues Steve Currie and Gerald Krasner were appointed joint administrators of the club during a 20-minute High Court hearing in Birmingham yesterday.
In approving the city council's application to put the club into administration, judge Simon Barker QC withdrew the winding-up petition issued against the club by HM Revenue and Customs last week.
Young then dashed to Vale Park to meet the club's entire staff, including manager Micky Adams and his first-team squad.
Players and staff were told they would receive full pay again after being denied their wages for February last week.
Gate receipts from the midweek Burton match has enabled the playing staff to receive 25 per cent of last month's wages.
Young will also hold talks with the Professional Footballers' Association on Monday about a loan to help with the players' wages.
He will then begin analysing the club's crippled finances, a process likely to take a week. He is not expecting to announce wide-scale redundancies.
"The PFA won't help with the non-playing pay roll," added Young, "But I think I've got enough money in the bank to pay most of the payroll costs.
"We will have to look at the numbers and it might be necessary to make one or two redundancies.
"We will decide on staff numbers as early as possible next week to remove the uncertainly. Then the people left will know they have some security."
WOLVES fans Luke Foxall has set up a Facebook group urging Midlands football fans to support Vale's fight for survival.
The group are planning to attend Vale's home clash with Dagenham on March 31.
More on Port Vale on www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk: