Robbie Earle – Port Vale and Stoke City owners deserve praise in troubled time



I want to start by wishing everyone well during this difficult time.

Sport, quite rightly, isn’t dominating headlines at the moment – but I am pleased to see football clubs are showing they aren’t just about results on a Saturday afternoon.

I’ll take my old club Port Vale as an example. With no football on, they are putting resources into making Vale Park a community hub for the north of the city, helping families, the vulnerable and the elderly.

That’s drawing on the contacts the club and the owners already have through the Vale’s community scheme and their own charities.

We talk about football clubs being part of the community, well that’s probably never been more needed than now. It’s not just the big, Premier League clubs who make an impact either. Smaller clubs are just as important to the people around them. 

We call it a football family and, at a time when people are having to stay apart, maybe their football club can be something that helps keep them united.

That could be by helping schools or the vulnerable in our society, or maybe people who are feeling despondent, or missing that bit of social contact at the moment.

At Stoke City and Port Vale we have local owners and I think that’s a good thing because they know and understand their communities.

It was great to see for example that local employer bet365, owned by the Coates family, has come up with a multi-million pound package for their 4,000 strong workforce.

So, until the end of August, no one will lose pay, there will be no job losses and no employees will be laid off. The same applies to Stoke City. Hopefully the Coates family’s support will help ease some anxieties.

As for the players, I like the idea of footballers doing skills challenges – a great example of how to use social media so people can join in at home.

I see Vale’s Leon Legge and Luke Joyce are among those have been doing their challenges, Leon with a fitness workout and Luke with a close control session.

It got me thinking of the skills challenges my old team mates would have a go at.

For starters, I’d nominate Neil Aspin for a ‘two-footed tackle challenge’ something he could demonstrate on anything that moves.

Keepie ups with a toilet roll? The ideal man would be my old midfield team-mate Ray Walker. He’d  do 1,000 without breaking sweat and then ask how many more do you want?

Meanwhile, Andy Porter would do five and be delighted he’d just broken his record. Just kidding Andy!

*Drop a heart on our special map of gratitude to show your support for our NHS heroeshttps://www.thanksamillionnhs.co.uk/





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *