League Two side Port Vale FC has been sold by Norman Smurthwaite to local business owners Carol and Kevin Shanahan.
The Shanahan’s, owners of Burslem-based IT firm Synectics Solutions and long time Vale supporters, have bought the club in full.
In a statement issued via their website, Port Vale said: “The first action has been for the club to purchase Vale Park in its entirety and bring it back under the ownership of the club.
“All future revenue generated within Vale Park will remain within Port Vale Football Club.
“On behalf of the club, Carol and Kevin would like to thank everybody for their huge support during the process and they look forward to the future success of Port Vale.”
Earlier in the season, a deal for the club between Smurthwaite and the Shanahan’s was cast in to doubt when a £3.5 million bid was rejected.
Supporters had protested against the clubs owner all season, and Smurthwaite added further fuel to the flames in late March when he announced on BBC Radio Stoke that he would refuse to fund the club after 5th May, with £600,000 needed to pay the club’s costs through the Summer.
The Shanahan’s had tried to purchase the club a number of times over the last 3 years, and Carol was quick to praise the Port Vale Supporters Club, as well as the Black And Gold group, for their help in supporting their bid.
She said: “Somebody had to do it. It had to be bought, and it had to be bought by people who cared about the community. And there was only us.”
When asked about the future of current first-team manager John Askey, Carol Shanahan said: “Getting the management situation resolved is very important, obviously. [We’re] a football club, you have to have a manager.
“We have got one ’til the end of May under contract, and it’s important that we have that sorted by the end of the month so we have continuation.
“As a fan, I watched half of the season without John, and the other half with John, and I preferred the half with John. The football was a lot more entertaining, a lot more successful. He came here and was set of task to keep us in the league and he did that.”
Vale were languishing in the relegation places in League Two when former Macclesfield and Shrewsbury manager Askey took charge on 4th February. Since then, the club has managed to stabilise finishing in 20th place, 8 points above the relegation zone.