Brown bids to revive Vale...
PORT Vale suffered the pain of relegation last Sunday – but Michael Brown is already planning the route back to League One.
The 40-year-old took over as caretaker-manager at the tail end of last year following Bruno Ribeiro’s resignation but was unable to keep the Valiants in the third tier.
Their fate was sealed when a 0-0 draw at highflying Fleetwood Town last weekend wasn’t enough for them to climb out of the drop zone.
In the days that followed, activity has been brisk at Vale Park. Chairman Norman Smurthwaite stepped down after admitting he had ‘seriously damaged’ the club with the recruitment decisions he made last summer.
He says he will not make any further comment until Vale are sold, vowing to ensure the ‘right party purchase the club’. On Friday, it was reported that Burslem-based IT firm Synectics Solutions had made an offer of £1.25m.
Lifelong Vale fan Tony Fradley has been appointed the new chairman.
Brown, meanwhile, has been confirmed as permanent manager following his caretaker stint. His target will be to make Vale competitive and fight for an immediate return to the third tier, as Doncaster Rovers did this season.
However, he acknowledges it is not going to be straightforward.
The former Manchester City and Sheffield United midfielder said: “It's a tough league. We know that and it’s going to be a big challenge.
“Ideally, we would have had a core of five or six senior pros that you know are going to help you, but we haven't got that. We have one or two, so we have got to really start from scratch.”
And getting the squad right, after last year’s foreign legion failed to impress in the muck and nettles of League One, will be crucial.
He added: “We need to sign lots of players and we need to put out a statement that we are here, that we want to try to gain promotion.
“Hopefully, we can attract players who want to take their careers in the same direction the club wants to go.”
Midfielder Danny Pugh has signed until next summer, with the option for it to be extended. The 34year-old joined from Blackpool in January. However, defender Remie Street, 22, is leaving.
“Remie’s contract was set to come to an end and he has expressed his desire of wanting to play at the highest level he can,” said Vale.
SAD MOMENT: Michael Brown applauds the Vale fans after the drop was confirmed