EFL cash help will not solve all problems, insists Port Vale chief executive



Port Vale chief executive Colin Garlick has welcomed financial help for clubs from the EFL but says that is only a short-term solution.

The chief executive says football is rightly not a priority at the moment compared to public health, and is proud that Vale have become a community hub for the north of the city during the coronavirus crisis.

He believes Vale, under the ownership of Carol and Kevin Shanahan, are in better shape than many in the lower divisions. However, he says clubs will face financial difficulties while the season is suspended.

Vale and all League Two clubs received £164,200 last week from the EFL fund. But that’s money they would normally have received over April, May and June. There is also the possibility of a loan from the EFL of £120,000.

Garlick said: “What should be made clear is this is money that we would normally get. So this is our basic award payment from the Football League and it is monies that we would typically get in April, May and June. That is coming early to assist with cashflow.

“This isn’t additional money. There is an opportunity to apply for a loan but again that is against future revenues.

“So, is it moving the problem back and robbing Peter to pay Paul? There is an argument for that but it is helping with the current cashflow, buying time to give clubs the opportunity to get through this very difficult time.

“We are luckier than most. But to be fair to Carol and Kevin, there is only so much they can do. We know they are going to act in the most responsible way they can, and do everything they possibly can to make it as right as we can in the challenging circumstances.”

Vale’s club shop and ticket office has closed, but the club is exploring the possibility of selling season-tickets online.

However, while the chief executive is concerned about football clubs in the lower divisions, he says the national game and eventually finishing the season, can’t be high on the national agenda compared to saving lives and trying to protect the NHS as they deal with the coronavirus crisis.

He added: “You are mindful that you are talking about football, a sport, when there are lives being lost.”

The Vale are playing their part as a community hub, working with the city council, schools and charities to help children and the vulnerable.

That’s a combined effort between Vale, the club’s foundation, the Synectics Solutions and Summit Hospitality businesses owned by Carol and Kevin Shanahan, and the Hubb Foundation, of which Carol is founder and a trustee.





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