So, I have seen a few people suggesting Walsall fans are using Port Vale’s success as ‘a stick to beat the club with’ (how many times have we read this). So, I thought I would take the time to do some digging and look at the facts.

Kevin & Carol Shanahan bought out Norman Smurthwaite, a chairman considered very much in the same vein as our own Mr Bonser by Vale fans, in 2019 for a value way over the clubs worth, in turn uniting the club with its own stadium. In January 2020 Karen took over total control of the club.

CEO Colin Garlick has been named League Two CEO of the Year in the Football Business Awards and shortlisted for the overall CEO of the Year Award by fcbusiness - he played an integral role in ousting Smurthwaite and bringing in the Shanahan’s, Karen said if it wasn’t for Garlick she would not have be able to complete the takeover at the club. He was the only reappointment to the board, all other CEO’s were replaced on 11 February 2020 after Karen took total control, mostly by CEO’s from the Shanahans other business, Synectics.

Shanahan then appointed DOF David Flitcroft, poached Darrel Clarke, paying compensation to us in Jan / Feb 2021, after sacking John Askey with Vale in a below expected 17th place.

So in summary, Shanahan took control in May 2019, cleared out the boardroom by Feb 2020, united the club with the stadium at purchase point, set up a DoF role and new football structure following the sacking of an underperforming manager, and poached a manager from a rival who then was fully backed and won promotion the following year.

Leigh Pomlett took control of Walsall in July 2019….he had been on the board since 2010.

A pretty damning indictment I would say, but of course everyone is free to draw their own conclusions - but please don’t try to tell me anybody is unduly criticising LP.

Oh, and if you want to compare the Vale board room to our own 90s boys club, take a good look at this article and the image: Getting to know Port Vale’s Chief Operating Officer, Claire Halket | News | Port Vale


Quite Remarkable Carol is from the Black Country too.

Sucess can be short lived, plus if Mckirdy had have took his penalty properly and scored and swindon won the shootout. We wouldn’t be having this discussion. Vale would have been bottle jobs and Clarke would be a sh1t manager. We could easily swap leagues with them next season with the freehold reunited. Then would that be a case role reversal.


And if your aunty had bollocks, she would be your uncle.


Does that make my original uncle gay?

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Just dont see the point in comparing two clubs every club is different, every club apart from probably Liverpool,Man City wish there club was run like another club.

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Excellent post

Because us and Vale are very similar, with a similar fanbase, and a post war record of bumbling around in the bottom 2 divisions with the odd dailiance with the 2nd division. Also, we were both taken over at the same time, ousting disliked owners, and not owning our own stadium.

It’s comparing apples with apples, and I don’t see how that could be dismissed or disputed.


There are 2 differences. The Shanahans are wealthier than LP and Smurthwaite isn’ t JB so it is not neccesarily a fair comparison.
I agree it is uncomfortable for LP in one sense but it should encourage him to give it a go since it is clear PV we’re not that much better than us.


Spot on as usual Funk.:clap:

Reading that comparison does make me feel just a little uncomfortable.


No offence Funk but they’ve simply got more money/access to money. If Pomlett had had the cash that’s what he’d have done.


The VP freehold has cost considerably less than ours will.

A very interesting article. Interesting to note that, as Chief Operating Officer, she brings her daughters to games even when her husband isnt there, so presumably she is preoccupied with looking after them, as they run around the restaurant area. Interesting comparisons indeed.

If you can believe what you read and what you hear, whereas PV appears to exude professionalism off the field, which is in addition to the suggested enhanced wealth, we in comparison are able to promote the estimable matchday efforts of Mrs Tisdale. Unfortunately those efforts are more akin to those demonstrated by many people across the country in respect of voluntary assistance for village green cricket matches rather than the professional football world that WFC is supposed to be inhabiting.

From that whole post and article, that’s the one thing you’ve taken from it? :joy:

It’s just another clear example of a club on our doorstep that historically are similar to us outperforming us on every single level, even to the point where they were able to prize our Manager to leave.

It wouldn’t surprise me if next season it’s Solihull Moors who join the long list of clubs out performing us both on and off the pitch.

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But Vale are promoted and we aren’t.

Comparisons are always a fragile methodology, however in footballing terms I struggle to see how there can be a more accurate comparison than Walsall and Vale given both clubs recent history. My overriding intention with the post was to highlight the difference in operations.

Vale have completely refreshed from top to bottom, as with what happens with 99% of takeovers. A strong team with a proven leader (OBE) have identified the dead wood, removed aforementioned dead wood, replaced these with proven achievers and then backed their new staff to succeed - whether it be the COO, the CEO, the striker or the manager, they have installed a fresh philosophy - a culture to thrive in where people can achieve. If it had not of been this season, you can cleary appreciate it may well have been next season.

In the EXACT same time all we have had is wishy washy ‘if’ and ‘when’ promises with unspecified time frames and vague talk of 5 year plans that never materialise - from the same people that have always been in post. All this talk of not having these conversations ‘if one striker scores or misses’ etc is the exact ridiculous and futile whataboutery that a board like ours absolutely thrives on, and no doubt will continue to do so (saying we looked like a play off team etc etc).

Totally irrespective of wealth, if there is not enough clear evidence in my post as at to the fundamental differences between both operations approach and capabilities then I really don’t know what else to say. The only argument I can just about accept at present is the stance that ‘at least we are not ran by similar people to Oldham’ etc, but if MF fails, we could easily fall to this level as we already nearly have on 2 occasions.


copied and pasted your original post onto WFHYS as some on there were having a pop at this page more agree than dont got the usual support wolves then nonsence from one idiot who probably looking at him aint put the years in to this club i have.37 years for me and this has been the first time i have worried about our league status this past 2 years thats how bad it has been why some think its moaning for moanings sake and cant see this side of the argument i just dont know.Its a valid point for me.


Just checked the post has been deleted what a joke that page is.WFHYS unless the admin have a different opinion.