Port Vale owner Carol Shanahan has written to supporters to talk about her plans and to reflect on the season now it has officially finished.
The owner talks about reaching the brink of the play-offs before the campaign was halted – and also the issue of fans who had bought tickets for the five remaining home games which have been cancelled.
She also reveals the deadline for 2020/21 early-bird season ticket deals has been extended a month until the end of July – and unveils the ‘phenomenal’ sales figure so far of more than 1,000.
League Two clubs voted on Tuesday to end the regular season and settle places on points per game. That was expected after clubs agreed those measures informally three weeks ago.
Vale finished eighth with nine games to go in the first full season for both Carol and her husband Kevin as owners, and John Askey as manager.
“Dear Port Vale season ticket holders
“I always knew I would want to write to all our Season Ticket holders at the end of the season in order to thank you all for your support, chat about the season in general, how well we did, what we learnt and what our plans were moving forward.
“What I never expected was to write anything such as this!
“When we, as a family, took responsibility for running Port Vale last May we had hopes that as a club, Port Vale, would improve over the season both on and off the pitch. We shared a quiet hope that the changes needed could be implemented quickly enough to provide positive outcomes in the first season. We didn’t allow the ‘p’ word to be mentioned as promotion seemed too big a leap for one season given where we had started from. We all had a few jitters in the beginning, then parked and settled in on 10th in the league for what seemed forever (!!) before surprising everyone and getting into the playoff positions. Beyond everyone’s dreams.
“But a global pandemic hit with extreme consequences for the world and organised sport was stopped. After weeks of uncertainty it was with a very heavy heart that I voted alongside all other League 2 clubs for the season to be ended. On our last game played, we had slipped (ever so slightly) back out of the play off positions and this meant we wouldn’t have the opportunity to take forward the amazing transformation that John Askey and Dave Kevan had created with our team and get to play for promotion into League 1 this season.
“Watch this space for next season though ……….. !
“Before we move too hastily to next season though, we must complete the business of this one. As we were unable to host 5 matches at Vale Park that you had bought tickets for, you are entitled to a rebate. A number of you have already informed us that you wish for the monies to be donated and remain in the club to help during this time and for that we are so grateful and thank you dearly, should you wish to do the same, please let us know. It is really important to say that we are very mindful of the fact that this lockdown crisis is having a devastating impact on many of our families and should you want or need a refund please contact us on any of the following with your full name, address and season ticket number and we will organise one. The closing date for applying for a refund is 31st July 2020.
• Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
• Phone the ticket office on 07500217112 or 01782 655821
• Write to us at –
• Ticket Office, Port Vale Football Club, Hamil Road, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 1AW
“The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating for the cash flow of all sports clubs. Currently funds coming into the club are through the government’s furlough scheme but also from the generosity of our fans. We have been blown away by the response from you through sales from the shop (we had to improve our online presence dramatically!) but also through the sale of season tickets when we can’t promise a start date to the season. Currently we have sold well over 1,000 tickets which is over 25% of last season’s total sales and is absolutely phenomenal. I can’t wait for you to be able to use them, and for those who are still planning on renewing, the early bird has been extended through July. You can renew online at www.portvaletickets.com and we’ve dedicated a special phone number for the ticket office during the pandemic, which is 07500217112.
“One of our main intentions when we took over was to bring the club firmly back to the heart of the community. Off the pitch the pandemic has hugely impacted the community of Stoke-on-Trent leaving many families in need of support with varying types of provision. I’m very proud to say working with the combined effort of Port Vale, Port Vale Foundation, The Hubb Foundation, Synectics Solutions and some of the wonderful local businesses in Stoke-on-Trent we have provided over 60,000 meals to those most in need, all prepared either from our own kitchens or those of our partners e.g. JCB and distributed from Vale Park. Many of you are directly supporting this with donations of food, volunteering time and delivering food parcels for us, this completely encapsulated the community spirit of Port Vale Football Club and for that I thank you.
“It’s been a truly amazing 12 months for Kevin, myself, our family and teams with so many fantastic memories. A cup draw against Man City and certain local lad/superstar ‘coming home’ to name just a few, certainly made it one to remember! The good news being Robbie will be returning for his homecoming gig, and we’d love another crack at Man City too.
“We are all honoured to be responsible for running your football club and we look forward to seeing you all again and building on the foundations that we all built this year.
“Thank you all and Up the Vale!”