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Port Vale friendly goes ahead despite player dispute

Football News 24/7
According to Staffordshire Today, the future of 18 members of Port Vale's first team squad remains in the balance as lawyers work on an alternative to the players' controversial contracts. All of those who agreed terms with prospective owner Keith Ryder have been left in limbo after three months of stalling on his takeover by the Lancashire businessman.

And manager Micky Adams fears it will not be long before rival clubs try to poach his prized assets while they are effectively free agents.

Administrators Begbies Traynor have stepped in to make executive decisions in the absence of a new owner, asking players to sign temporary deals that will run until April.

The firm cannot take on Vale's long-term liabilities, but say they will make it a condition of any takeover that Ryders' original contracts are honoured.

However, the players are looking for assurances they will not be left high and dry if and when a buyer is found.

They are being directed through the revised documents by lawyers from the Professional Footballers' Association, who are exploring alternatives to the deal on the table.

Vale have now been given until noon on Monday to register their squad for the first round League Cup tie against Burnley the next night. They currently have five senior players officially on their books.

Club PFA representative Gareth Owen said: "The PFA's legal experts are going through these deals with a fine tooth comb but they are weighty documents.

"They are talking to the administrators and Football League lawyers to find a resolution. There is no debate on money, but there is concern over the security of contracts if and when we come out of administration.

"We have seen at other clubs new owners saying they will not come in unless players are removed from the wage bill."

Meanwhile, Vale Park will be back open to supporters for tomorrow's pre-season friendly against Tranmere Rovers– thanks to the efforts of dozens of loyal fans.

The volunteers swept stands, painted walls and stuck numbers to seats after answering yesterday's call to arms.

They were due back again at Vale Park today to clean the toilet blocks and jet-wash the stands ahead of tomorrow's Tranmere match.

Supporters were banned from Tuesday's friendly against Coventry City after Port Vale officials ruled the ground was not ready for fans as the club languishes in administration. Fans will have to bring their own refreshments though as the catering kiosks will not be ready until the game against Burnely on Tuesday.



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