Burslem business couple still hopeful of buying Port Vale

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Carol Shanahan and her husband Kevin are still interested in buying Port Vale but won’t meet Norman Smurthwaite’s current asking price.

The Shanahans, who are the owners of Burslem data firm Synectics Solutions have been interested in buying the football club for a while and last week they had their £3.5 million offer for the club and ground turned down.

Shanahan explained why the club is her company’s priority:

“We wanted to get involved with the area and help Burslem and the thing for me that I thought will help the place is to have a good football club and you only have to look at last summer with ‘it’s coming home’ and the feel good around the country was huge.

“On a smaller scale it will happen with your local football team if they are doing well, it will make it all feel positive. I’ve been going to watch football since I was nine years old and I just love grassroots, proper football and what it can do to a community is huge.”

However, she never thought twice about owning a football club when she started her career in business, “I have never had the dream of owning a football club if I’m honest but I don’t have an issue in owning a football club.

“Owners tend to be driven on egos and it is an outward expression on who they are and all the rest of it; but we don’t need that because we’ve already got it.”

She also made her feelings known about the current owner Norman Smurthwaite.

“The club isn’t in the right place at the moment as the owners doesn’t look at the community and we can see that which we will like to address.”

Shanahan is also the chair of Vale’s community scheme, the Port Vale Foundation Trust, and is also seen regularly at Vale home and away games; if they can manage the takeover she has already mapped out what she wants for the club.

“I think having the fans involved with the club would be a dream, I think the ground, Vale Park should have at least half of it owned by the fans’ trust

“Owners come and owners go but the fans will always be there as it is there home, there footballing home and I think they should have control over it.”

She also feels that the club can push on and is looking at new ways to improve the club even before they have had a bid accepted, “There’s lots of ways of raising money for the club to improve the team.

“There are teams already in league 1 and league 2 that really punch above their weight, they’re not at the top in terms of their budget.

“However, because of the way that they come together as a cohesive unit and you can see that on the pitch.”Carol believes that the club can achieve more than mid table obscurity in League Two, “We absolutely should be in League 1 and we should be knocking on the door to the Championship.

“It’s only a few seasons ago that we were 6th in League One and there was a possibility that we would go into the play offs or try and get into the Championship.”

Shanahan and her family owned company are determined to reach an agreement with Smurthwaite but she feels that it will be a different decision for him,

“I think Norman’s in a position where in his heart he doesn’t want to sell the club and wants to stay but I think there’s another part of him that knows that he will have to eventually sell and go because what’s happening at the club isn’t working at the moment.

“He can try and put that right but I’m not sure whether he can because when you’ve got fans protesting and feeling as negatively as they are I don’t know how somebody can turn that around.

“It’s his club and the decision has to come from him and I’m very mindful of that, If he sells to somebody else we would be very happy to work with them.”


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