The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By Mar­ios Pa­paloizou

LOUIS DODDS doesn’t know where he will be play­ing his foot­ball next sea­son, but the mid­fielder says there are big­ger things to worry about – like Port Vale’s fu­ture.

Vale have pro­mo­tion in their sights as they headed into the week­end hav­ing lost just once since be­ing thumped by Wi­gan 3-0 on Jan­uary 30.

But, while the team is play­ing with free­dom on the pitch, things couldn’t be more com­pli­cated off it, with the club cur­rently up for sale and un­der tight fi­nan­cial re­stric­tions.

Man­ager Rob Page has al­ready been warned his play­ing bud­get could be cut by a fur­ther £800,000 next sea­son, and the play­ers are also feel­ing the squeeze.

Eight of them paid for their own ho­tel rooms ahead of last week­end’s come­back vic­tory over Peter­bor­ough.

Few will be feel­ing the club’s plight more than mid­fielder Dodds who has spent eight years with the Valiants and made more than 300 ap­pear­ances.

The 29-year-old’s cur­rent con­tract ex­pires in June, but he read­ily ad­mits the club’s fu­ture takes prece­dent over his own for now.

He said: “For us, it’s is just about win­ning each game and giv­ing the fans some­thing to cheer about. Ev­ery­thing else is out of our con­trol.

“All we can do is win foot­ball matches.We can’t buy or sell the club or de­cide what hap­pens up­stairs.

“It’s well doc­u­mented that some of the lads paid for their own ho­tel rooms and I think that speaks vol­umes about the com­mit­ment to achieve the right re­sults and get a good night’s sleep be­fore the match.

“I think you just have to look at the things you can con­trol and go from there. None of the lads will be go­ing and ask­ing for new con­tracts or any­thing like that.

“We will just try to win as many matches as we can and then we will go from there.

“This is a great club. I’ve been here for eight years now and would love to stay.


“You do worry about things be­cause there are chil­dren and the mort­gage to think about.

“But, as a team, we want to win for the fans be­cause they have been in­cred­i­ble to us all sea­son and I think our home form shows that. They de­serve suc­cess.”

While Port Vale chair­man Nor­man Smurth­waite con­tin­ues his quest to sell the club, hav­ing put it up for sale in De­cem­ber 2014, Page and his play­ers are keep­ing their heads down.

That was ev­i­dent last week­end when, af­ter fork­ing out their own money, Vale came from 2-0 down to beat Peter­bor­ough, thanks to Dodds’ last-gasp win­ner.

While pro­mo­tion is the main prize up for grabs, Dodds knows only too well that a win­ning team is a far more de­sir­able prod­uct for any po­ten­tial suit­ors.

“I think it would be un­be­liev­able to get to the play-offs and win pro­mo­tion this year. It would mean so much to us all,” he added.

“We know that win­ning matches brings in more rev­enue and the same with get­ting pro­mo­tion, but we haven’t talked about it.

“But any­thing we can do to help the club is mas­sive be­cause that can bring more sta­bil­ity.

“We are do­ing it for the club and I know that ev­ery three points could be vi­tal.”

PIC­TURE: Gor­don Clay­ton

LOYAL: Port Vale's Louis Dodds in ac­tion, right, against Gary Lid­dle of Brad­ford City

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