BST to 'mentor' Port Vale fans group as they begin protests against unpopular owner Norman Smurthwaite

Owen Oyston sat next to Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite during the pre-season friendly last year
Owen Oyston sat next to Port Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite during the pre-season friendly last year
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Blackpool Supporters’ Trust are to “mentor” their counterparts at Port Vale as their fans' group launches a campaign to remove their unpopular owner from the club.

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The Port Vale Supporters’ Club has recently issued a vote of no confidence in Norman Smurthwaite, who has been in charge of the club since 2013, as well as electing to begin formal protests against his ownership.

Fans are unhappy with the way the club has dropped down the divisions during his tenure, which has also been blighted by a series of poor managerial appointments and PR gaffes.

Vale are currently 20th in League Two, eight points ahead of Macclesfield Town and Notts County, having finished last season in the same position.

At the beginning of the month a £3.5m bid for the club from local business Synectics Solutions was turned down.

Smurthwaite has also previously revealed the EFL had assigned Blackpool's former chairman Karl Oyston to mentor and advise him on running the Valiants.

Vale fans have now turned to BST and have officially entered partnership with the Trust to get advice on how to effectively manage a protest campaign to force out an unpopular owner.

Blackpool fans have endured a long and painful fight to remove the club of the Oyston family, who had been in charge at Bloomfield Road for over 30 years.

But with the club now in receivership and Owen Oyston removed from the board, the boycott was lifted earlier this month when 15,000 home fans attended the homecoming clash against Southend United.

Port Vale Supporters’ Club say they will use BST as “mentors” to advise them as their campaign gets underway.

As a result of the partnership, BST committee members Christine Seddon and Tony Wilkinson will attend the next Port Vale Supporters’ Club meeting.