Updated: 21st November 2012
Paul Wildes, CEO and Founder of the Alchemy Investment Group and Norman Smurthwaite have today finalised the takeover of Port Vale Football Club with administrators Begbies Traynor.
The deal, which follows full approval from the Football League is worth £1.25m and means that Port Vale will now come out of administration, eight months after entering it in March 2012.
Paul Wildes, who was named as the preferred bidder of Port Vale Football Club last month, commented:
“I would like to thank the Port Vale supporters, once again, for their ongoing patience and support. It has been a long process but we are delighted to have finally taken over the Club and look forward to a long and successful association.
“As I have previously stated, our intention is to develop the club both on and off the field. On the pitch we’re continuing to support Micky and the squad as they push for promotion. Off the pitch we have made some key appointments to ensure the immedidate and ongoing success of the Club.
“As Chairman of the Club I will be accountable for the strategic direction, taking responsibility for football activities, including the development of the Club’s youth programme and integration of the Club into the Community.
“Norman Smurthwaite as Chief Executive will take charge of off field running of the Club, supported by a Board of Directors.
“Mike Aspinall will take up the role of Operations Director for Port Vale, overseeing the match day experience, with Robin Anderson, Financial Director taking responsibility for the finance and IT departments within the Port Vale.
“In addition we are looking to appoint a Commercial Director over the coming months who take charge of all commercial activities, from sponsorship to ticketing.
“These appointments bring a wealth of experience, understanding and knowledge to the Club, which reflects our commitment, and an exciting new era for PVFC.
“Last but not least we will be shortly announcing details of the fans forum, fulfilling our ongoing commitment to keep supporters informed and updated on the news and decisions that affect their Club. I am looking forward to meeting and hearing from the supporters, and am hugely looking forward to the months and years ahead.”
Norman Smurthwaite, newly appointed Chief Executive added:
“Having worked at Vale Park on a daily basis over the last few weeks, I fully recognise the potential of the Club and feel truly excited about what we can achieve here.
“We understand that the club needs to be successful both on and off the pitch and have a number of plans in place with the senior management team to ensure that we achieve the best standards we possibly can.”
Bob Young, Partner at administrators Begbies Traynor, added:
“The administration process has been a difficult one for everyone associated with Port Vale but in Paul and Norman, we believe we have the passion and expertise to take Port Vale forward.
“I’d like to thank the staff, management and players of Port Vale for their continued patience and professionalism throughout the administration process, along with Stoke on Trent City Council and the Supporters’ Club, who have supported the club in a number of ways, including financially.
“All the team at Begbies Traynor have enjoyed our time at Port Vale but we are pleased to pass the baton on to Paul and Norman and we wish them all the very best for the future.
“We are proud of our role in saving Port Vale and while we will no longer be involved in running the Club we will continue with our investigation work into antecedent transactions, in particular the issuing of nil paid shares shortly prior to the Administration.”
Bob Young is senior partner at Begbies Traynor in Stoke-on-Trent, a fellow of the Insolvency Practitioners Association (FIPA) and a member of the Association of Business Recovery Professionals (MABRP) - and has over 30 years' experience of corporate rescue and recovery, turnaround and corporate and personal insolvency work. Formerly a partner in Poppleton & Appleby, a director of PricewaterhouseCoopers and Official Receiver in Birmingham, Bob has built up a substantial following in Staffordshire and beyond, and he chairs the North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce Business & Finance Committee.