Port Vale chief executive on attendances, ticket deals and play-off push


Chief executive Colin Garlick believes momentum is building in the stands as well as on the pitch at Vale Park.

The Vale are hoping for another large gate at home to Scunthorpe tomorrow having pulled in crowds of more than 5,000 for five of their last six home games.

That’s helped boost this season’s average attendance to 4,847, up from 4,431 last season.  So, supporters are getting behind John Askey and his team who are up to eighth place and aiming to clinch a place in the play-off places over the final 11 games of the season.

Vale’s following of 8,000 for the FA Cup tie at Manchester City in January was a reminder of the Vale’s potential support, so the club have tried to tap into that with ticket deals.

The latest is allowing fans who buy a ticket for the Crawley game, on March 14, to get one for the Bradford match, on March 17, for half price.  

The chief executive said: “At the Manchester City game we clearly had a number of people who don’t regularly come to Vale Park but obviously have an interest in the club.

Port Vale chief executive Colin Garlick

“So, we offered them the opportunity to attend the Leyton Orient game by producing their ticket for a discount towards that.

“Then we put together a couple more initiatives. So, in the build up to our game against Colchester, we did a bring-a-friend initiative for season ticket holders, with a discount.

“Then we have two home games together, on the 14th and 17th, for the Crawley and Bradford game. Tuesday night games are usually not quite as popular so we thought we would have an initiative to try to attract people for that.

“Under Football League regulations we can have three home promotions and so we have utilised them.”

Vale’s last home gate, for the 3-0 win at home to Colchester a fortnight ago, attracted 5,199 despite the best efforts of Storm Dennis.

That was helped by the ticket deal and the Vale Foundation who invited 300 schoolchildren.

Garlick added: “If you look at the Colchester game, it was a particularly poor day in terms of the weather, but we had a fantastic turn out from the home support to get over 5,000.

“The work we are doing with the Foundation, and the ticketing initiative, paid off, and I think that was reflected in those numbers being over 5,000.

“I think that was quite an achievement and it created a great atmosphere. The team played well, the supporters responded to the team, and throughout the 90 minutes it created a really good atmosphere.”

Cheltenham’s 2-1 win at home to Northampton on Tuesday wasn’t the worst result for the Vale. The fifth-placed Robins are now five points clear of John Askey’s side, with a game in hand, but seventh-placed Northampton remain clear of Vale only on goal difference having now played the same games.

Regardless of results elsewhere, Askey feels six wins from the final 11 games should be enough to finish in the play-off spots.

They could be back in there by Saturday evening if they can extend their seven-game unbeaten run. Vale should also take heart from having lost just one league game in Burslem this season, but won’t be underestimating a Scunthorpe side who deservedly beat them 2-1 in Lincolnshire in November.

Garlick added: “We have these games coming up now and they are all very important. On Saturday it is at home to Scunthorpe and we would like to keep this unbeaten run doing, and this really good home form we have got, and get back into the play-off places.

“It is so tight up there. We are only just outside on goal difference, but we can feel it.

“We got the ‘Stealth Award’ on Quest TV because we had come from nowhere. I think that’s quite interesting.

“There was no expectation there from everyone, and then suddenly they see Port Vale there in a play-off place. We really liked that and we are keen to get back there.”

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