Date: 21st May 2013 at 9:18am
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The now sole owner of the club, Norman Smurthwaite moved to allay supporters` fears following Paul Wildes` shock decision to walk away from the club.

The move had been brewing for several weeks. While Wildes was often portrayed as the club`s owner, it was Smurthwaite who provided the initial investment to purchase the club back in November. Ultimately, only one man can make the decisions, and Smurthwaite prevailed in that argument.

The 52 year old claims it is very much ‘business as usual` as he attempts to steer the club through yet another turbulent summer of off field activity. Whether there will be any change of emphasis or direction remains to be seen, though Smurthwaite reassuringly stated that he had the financial wherewithal to guide Vale into the Championship, and that the club was thankfully debt free and would remain so during his spell.

Speaking to the The Sentinel Smurthwaite revealed, “‘I’m sorry to see Paul go and I’ll miss him, but for anyone who thinks I’ve come out of the sunshine to parachute myself into the club, then I’m sorry to disappoint you.

“Vale has got hold of me and whatever is right for this club I will do. Once this little storm is over, it will be business as usual.

“It’s not a difficult business to run, other than keeping you (the fans) happy, the manager sweet and players motivated.”

Meanwhile, Wildes, who has admitted that he may look into buying another football club, has denied speculation that he was in favour of sacking Adams following the club`s 2-0 defeat to Bristol Rovers in March. The result, performance and news of Ryan Burge`s omission saw tensions heightened among supporters, with a minority turning their displeasure on the Vale boss. Smurthwaite himself has admitted that the disagreements between him and Wildes began after the game, after Smurthwaite attempted to divert criticism away from the manager and team. Wildes allegedly saw this as interference, though dismissed rumours that he was prevented from dismissing Adams.

What is more important is the future. Much work needs to be done, not least on the playing side for Vale to be competitive in what looks a strong League One next season. Vale at least seem to have someone at the helm that seems up for the challenge.