I can’t tell you how long I have waited to write this. Well, actually, I can. 8 months. 252 days. It’s been a long wait, but I can finally say it.
Port Vale are out of administration.
It feels so good to finally be able to say it, and it caps off what has been a truly fantastic week for the club. While the results on the pitch hit a sticky patch (frittering away two goal leads twice is not what promotion chasing teams should be doing), the unveiling of the Roy Sproson statue on Saturday, and now the finalising of the purchase today has made it a 4-day period to remember. On the subject of Roy, I am so happy that he has finally been recognised for the loyalty he put in at Port Vale. Over his career he made 837 appearances, all for Port Vale. A one club man, and a true legend.
So, where do we go from here? As a fan, it will be nice to be able to concentrate on what is happening on the pitch, instead of the constant worries about off field turmoil. The continued form of Tom Pope is something that no-one saw coming (And indeed, he just broke the record for the quickest Port Vale player to 20 goals in a season) but he will obviously have clubs sniffing around him come the January transfer window.
Micky Adams has worked wonders with a tiny squad, and to continue our form, we really do need to get a couple of squad players in. Having started the season with no recognised left backs in the squad, I would argue that this is the first area that needs looking at, as well as potentially another ball winning midfielder. After that, potentially another striker to complement Pope, as there is always the worry that his goals will dry up.
But who am I to question. I am sure that Micky has a plan, and it will be a lovely change of pace to be able to sit back and watch the football without worrying about who will be balancing the books. We are second in the league, with the best goal difference in the country, and a 4 point cushion to third place, so Micky is obviously doing something right.
As a final thought, I can honestly say that having your team go through the administration process is one of the worst feelings that you will ever have as a football fan. The constant uncertainty, the worries over the very future of your club, it is horrible. I can only hope that, if you are reading this, your club never has to go through it.
Written by Steve Donaldson, We Are Going Up’s Port Vale Blogger
Steve tweets at @the_vogster