Port Vale: Norman Smurthwaite to put club in administration if new owner not found

Norman Smurthwaite was part of the group which took Port Vale out of administration in 2012

Owner Norman Smurthwaite says he will put Port Vale in administration if a buyer for the club is not found by 5 May.

Smurthwaite told BBC Radio Stoke he will only fund Vale up to that point, as a result of supporter protests about his running of the League Two club.

He claims that as much as £600,000 will be needed to keep the club going until the start of next season.

“I wasn’t the person or group of people who said ‘you’ve got to go’,” he said.

“They didn’t and don’t understand the implications of what they’ve done, and they’ll learn that as time goes by.

“The football club has to trade through to 5 May and it will. I’ll pay all of the bills up to that point. After 5 May, I will not put one cent more into the club.”

Carol and Kevin Shanahan, who own Stoke-on-Trent-based IT company Synectics Solutions, have made three attempts to buy the club and its Vale Park ground – which is owned by Smurthwaite in a separate company – since the start of February.

The most recent of those is believed to be a bid worth in excess of £4m, and while Smurthwaite acknowledged those in a statement on the club’s website