Port Vale talks with out-of-contract players as owners back club through crisis



Port Vale have opened talks with out-of-contract players as they start to put their squad together.

The Vale have offered deals to David Amoo, Rhys Browne, Shaun Brisley, Cristian Montano, Tom Conlon, Mark Cullen and Nathan Smith. Meanwhile, Will Atkinson, Callum Evans, Kieran Kennedy, Ryan Lloyd, Johnny Maddison and Jordan Macfarlane-Archer have been released.  

Chief executive Colin Garlick explained the retained list was published as soon as possible after manager John Askey and owner Carol Shanahan had spoken to all players concerned.

He said: “It was only right the players who are affected by it hear it from us first and it is appropriate the manager does that.

“I know that was high on John’s list of things to do once he knew where we were at with the season. He set about that over the weekend and Carol has followed that up as well. I know she has been speaking to players and thanking them all for their contribution.”

Vale’s owners gave the go-ahead for the contract offers despite a financial crisis in League Two. Clubs rely heavily on gate receipts but don’t know when the new season will start or when crowds will be allowed back. In the meantime, owners Carol and Kevin Shanahan will be using their own money to keep the Vale going.

Garlick said they deserve praise for committing to players in uncertain times.

He added: “These players have been offered that continuity of employment which I think is fantastic from Carol and Kevin’s point of view.

“We just don’t know, there could be months in the summer whereby we arguably don’t require the services of these players. But they haven’t taken that attitude.”

Because the season had been suspended, EFL clubs had the option of not issuing their retained lists until next month. However, Vale moved as soon as clubs agreed to end the League Two season.

The chief executive said: “I know we are expecting the new normal anytime, but we have got this out by the third Saturday in May which we would have done normally.

“We haven’t hung on until late in June. So, players know where they stand. We felt that was the right thing to do.”

Under EFL rules, those contract offers are valid for a month.

Garlick added: “We are talking to our players all the time. We have been talking to players throughout this season and it is no secret that we have been discussing with the likes of Nathan Smith for example. We have now got to the point where we have issued terms to those players we are looking to re-engage from July 1.”





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