I want the EFL to conduct an Investigation in to the financial goings on at Port Vale FC

I want the EFL to conduct an Investigation in to the financial goings on at Port Vale FC

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Richard Cuthbertson started this petition to English Football League and

As a long suffering fan of Port Vale Football Club it has come to my attention that over the last few years a lack of transparency has set in over the financial infrastructure at the club. Since Norman Smurthwaite took over the club in 2012 the club has been in a steady financial decline there has been no accounts published from merchandise and kiosk sales and also a lack of interest from the owner in investment in to the club. The club was shown in the accounts to have made a profit in the last tax year however Mr Smurthwaite has claimed that the club is losing up to £80,000k monthly. It has been reported by CEO Colin Garlick at a supporters club meeting that no money generated from Kiosk sales goes back in to the clubs accounts and he also claims to know nothing about what happens to money generated from cash sales in the club shop. Due to his statement on the 28/2/19 it has got a lot of fans worried that cash could be disappearing out of the club in an illegal back door operation run by Mr Smurthwaite at the top of the club. There can be no estimation put on how much money the club shop generates due to the lack of accounts coming from within the club however due to it being the only Official Port Vale Club Shop it would only seem right that it be a very significant amount. 

Over the last month we have seen fellow EFL club Blackpool get dragged all over the place by the reign of the Oysten family both of which Mr Smurthwaite has admittedly been leaning on has mentors this alone highlights my own fears and that of my fellow fans in what the future holds for the football club i have supported for around 30 years. The club has a tremendous history in the football league and is now living very dangerously close to falling out of it altogether due to the seemingly lack of leadership and management in the general daily operational duties at the top of the club.

I think i speak for every fan that steps through the turnstile at Vale Park when i ask for an understanding of how a club with a higher average attendance than some of the teams in the league above ours can possibly be rinsing money away in the fashion that Mr Smurthwaite claims it is. The fall from grace has been relentless and Mr Smurthwaite toys with the idea of the club we love being relegated from the football league quoting to supporters club chairman Mark Porter that "Next season after the club is relegated i will be sitting at home in my armchair laughing and sucking on a lollypop whilst you(Mark) will be being remembered as the chairman of the supporters club that got the team relegated". This is just one of the latest slurs that the chairman has aimed at the supporters club this one being as he blamed Mark for being the reason that the club missed out on a major sponsorship deal regarding the whole ground and a relaying of the pitch over the summer that the club had already apparently paid a £100,000+ deposit on.

Mr Smurthwaite has also told Mark Porter that he has no intentions of selling the club and will not be putting any more money into it after April due to this correspondence that is being put across to us as fans i feel that it is now time for the EFL to step up and make an Investigation to how the club is being run and to find out what is happening with the surplus cash sales money that seems to be disappearing from the takings at the club shop and also in the kiosks. 

There are to many clubs in the EFL who are being rinsed away by rogue owners and I feel that it is now time for the EFL to step up and take action against them before clubs are sent in to administration and punished. If i was the chairman at the top of the EFL i would consider removing these criminals from their clubs like bailiffs and putting the clubs up for sale at realistic prices with the funds raised from the sales going back in to the football clubs at grassroots level improving the academy levels at said clubs this alone would stop prospective owners of football clubs from even considering bringing clubs down in the fashion that the Oystens and the Smurthwaites of this world are doing. Being lucky enough to be the owner of a football club should pay enough for a man to make a profit without putting a club in jeopardy in the way that these men are doing and the sooner that the EFL comes to terms with this and starts to take matters in to their own hands to serve the teams that are serving them the better of and safer all clubs in the EFL will be. At Vale Park the alarm bells have been ringing for years but to no extent have the EFL taken it in there hands to examine the goings on behind the scenes. Norman Smurthwaite is holding our club to ransom due to his separation of the club from the ground which he said originally was to safeguard the club however it is known that he is charging rent from the club for playing at the ground as well as utilising other means of him taking money out of the club in other areas around the ground.  

 

Kind Regards 

 

Ricky Cuthbertson

 

'Smexit Valiant'

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