Port Vale: Two-week ban for Burge the defiant
PORT Vale have suspended midfielder Ryan Burge for refusing to apologise for his midweek no-show at Bristol Rovers and subsequent Twitter outburst.
Club chairman Paul Wildes announced the punishment last night while also revealing there would be an internal inquiry into the affair.
Burge landed himself in hot water with boss Micky Adams after failing to turn up for the pre-match meal ahead of Vale's 2-0 defeat on Tuesday.
He used Twitter to claim he had been five minutes from the Memorial Stadium when he was told he was not needed.
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He also maintained he had repeatedly tried to contact the club's management after they failed to pick him up on the way to the match.
Although Adams dismissed these claims after Tuesday's match as "absolute nonsense", Wildes said the club had been ready to work with Burge to resolve the dispute.
However, he insisted they were left with no alternative but to ban the 24-year-old when he refused to apologise for his actions.
Wildes said: "This is an unfortunate situation and one which could have been avoided. The club was keen to work with Ryan on a resolution, but he decided not to take this option.
"In relation to his use of social media, we asked Ryan to apologise for his statements on Twitter and he declined to do this. Although Ryan has now issued something on his Twitter feed, it has come too late.
"Ryan has signed our social media guidelines, along with all players, and we cannot condone behaviour which brings the club's name into disrepute.
"This has been a highly disruptive incident for everyone at the club at a critical time of the season."
News of the ban came on the eve of a tricky trip to York City (3pm) when Vale will be bidding to halt a run of five defeats in seven games that has seen them slip to third place in League Two and at risk of missing out on automatic promotion.
It also leaves them seriously short of midfield players for the trip to Bootham Crescent as skipper Doug Loft and Sam Morsy are both suspended.
Burge, pictured below, was one of Vale's outstanding performers when the club went to the summit of League Two just after Christmas, but had been sidelined in recent weeks as their poor run took hold.
The ban means he will miss both today's York game and next week's home clash with Aldershot, and with his contract expiring in the summer his future at the club must now be in some doubt.
Burge appeared to be making a conciliatory gesture last night when he took to Twitter again to declare: "I was very angry and frustrated the other night. In future I won't be using Twitter to show that. I will be using alternative options that won't cause any upset to the fans/club."
However, it is a gesture that came too late to avoid more disruption for Vale and under-fire Adams.