‘It is more than just football ‘ – Port Vale owner Carol Shanahan


Port Vale owner Carol Shanahan is hoping the football season can be extended and completed – but says sport can’t be the priority as the nation deals with the effects of coronavirus.

EFL clubs aren’t due to return to action until April 3 at the earliest after the league suspended games last Friday.

The Vale owner backed that decision but is hopeful the campaign can be played at some point.

She said: “I wouldn’t want to play behind closed doors because I think we are about the fans and it would be really hard to do that.

“But I wouldn’t like to see the season cut short either. So, personally, not speaking on behalf of the club, I would hope the season will be extended and more games can be played in a proper and not rushed manner.”

She says Vale will suffer financially because games have been suspended but says so are other parts of the economy.

She explained: “You look at it and see what other people are going through. Restaurants, bars. I saw something on social media about an outside caterer saying either the clients have cancelled or the venues have cancelled.

“That is really hard and I think it is going to be hard for a lot of people. People doing hotels or B&Bs. It is more than just football.

“Like Jurgen Klopp said, ‘football is the most important of the least important.’

Port Vale owner Carol Shanahan

“So, I don’t want to make this about football. It is about a lot more than that. It is just where we are suffering.”

As for the financial impact on Vale, she said: “It will be hard because it’s not in the business plan. It’s not just Port Vale, it’s all of League One and Two.

“We rely on matchday income, whether at the kiosks or behind the bar, or coming through the turnstile.

“If they were to rearrange to Tuesday matches then we are going to get a lesser crowd. So, for example Crewe. We were anticipating our biggest crowd. But playing on a Tuesday night, we won’t get as many. So, we are not going to get in what we hoped we would.

“But we are just going to have to watch what we spend, be a lot more prudent, review our priorities and do what we can.”

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