‘He’s bang on’ – Port Vale fans have their say on former Stoke City boss



He managed the team across the city when the Potteries football rivalry was perhaps as intense as it has ever been.

But there is still plenty of respect for former Stoke City manager Lou Macari among Port Vale fans.

Lou, who has been widely praised for his work with the homeless through the Macari Foundation charity, also has a weekly column for the Sentinel and StokeonTrentLive.

This week he turned his attention to the plight of lower division clubs who are being hard hit financially while the season is suspended.

Lou said: “According to reports, some League One and Two clubs are concerned they might not be able to afford to finish the season behind closed doors this summer, even if that is deemed safe.

“I sympathise with them. With the money at the top of football, lower division clubs shouldn’t have to be worried about whether they can stay in business.

“So, I would like to see more money coming from the Premier League clubs to support sides in Leagues One and Two. These are special circumstances and clubs at the top get millions just for whichever place they finish. Some of that would make a huge difference lower down.

“I do wonder if the connections between some of the top flight clubs and those in the lower divisions are as strong as they were. Over the years, the top clubs have all bought players from the lower divisions, but that’s become less the case as more signings have come from abroad for example.

“So, maybe some Premier clubs don’t feel they are as dependent on these lower division clubs as they used to be.  

“Whatever the reason, lower division clubs need those top flight teams to rally around.”

Port Vale fans on social media had their say on our story.

Commenting on the story on the Wonder of Port Vale Facebook page, Andrew Fox-Hewitt says: “Yes of course he’s bang on, the English football pyramid was the envy of the international footballing community, the FA cup being the crown jewel.

“But the disparity between the Premiership and Championship and Leagues One and Two and the Conference mean finances have now resulted in leagues within leagues rather than the fantastic pyramid we were famed for.”

Ian Plimbley adds: “There as always been to much money at the top and it will never alter.”

Tom Barber says: “Macari is spot on, but there is bob hope of it happening. The money issue has been the same since the greedy league was established, I can’t see it changing over this.”

Tony Boulton, an exiled Vale fan in Texas, said: “He is right and it’s noble of him to speak up. Premier League clubs may not as dependent on teams lower down the leagues, but they have a duty. There is little honour left in the football world, but Lou Macari demonstrated that he has it.”

Mark Bailey adds: “Macari is a good guy – those running football would be wise to listen to him.”

Mel Harwood agrees, saying: “Lou Macari has a social conscience, one that extends way beyond football. I wouldn’t expect any less from him.”





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