Port Vale benefits from US investment
Thu 15th Sep 2011 | Money & Finance
Port Vale Chief Executive, Perry Deakin has hailed the club's new investment with Blue Sky International.
The club announced the deal on Tuesday which will see the American-based artificial surface supplier invest £5 million pounds into the club, over the next 12 months, with a further £3 million pounds of investment over the coming years.
In an exclusive interview with port-vale.co.uk, Deakin said, "I am very excited; it is fabulous news for everybody at the club. We have worked long and hard in delivering this to the football club and now we just need to move on and reap the benefits of it.
"Blue Sky is a long established American company. They have been involved in the artificial surface business for over 40 years now and their CEO has remained the same during that period.
"They are involved not only in the sale and installation of artificial surfaces, but also the technology itself.
"In terms of where they are looking to develop and the benefits to them of being involved in the football club, they are looking for a base in the UK and a brand in the UK and fortunately for us, they have looked at Port Vale and seen that they can develop their own brand alongside ours."
Deakin also confirmed that the changes to the Board of Directors that were announced prior to the investment are still scheduled to go ahead, and that Blue Sky will be seeking to nominate their own Board member in the near future.
"The club's ex-Chairman (Bill Bratt) has announced his intention to step down from the Board, so we will be seeking an alternative Director to replace him.
"Also another Director, Glenn Oliver has announced his intention not to seek re-election; so once again there will be somebody nominated to replace Glenn.
"Blue Sky are investing cash in shares as part of the deal and they will be taking their maximum allowed shares by our articles.
"They would like some involvement on the Board of Directors, but we cannot guarantee them that because our articles clearly state that any new board member has to be voted on by the club's shareholders. So we will be going through that process, but there will be a board member nominated by Blue Sky."
Meanwhile, Deakin has thanked fellow artificial surface suppliers AmeriTurf for their interest in investing in the club, but says that any potential deal has ended.
"We were grateful to AmeriTurf for their interest in Port Vale, but having joined the club and had a new Chairman on board; we looked long and hard at the AmeriTurf deal, and just decided that perhaps it wasn't the right thing for Port Vale.
"Therefore, we made the decision that we would seek alternative investment elsewhere."
Port Vale have also announced a new sponsorship agreement with AJP Group.
The deal sees the investment management company become the official back of the shirt sponsors for the next three years.
AJP Group's name and logo will feature on the back of the first team's home and away shirts.
Port Vale Sales Manager Chris Bedding said: "I am delighted to welcome AJP Group and Andrew Pritchard to the club.
"I am looking forward to a long and successful relationship with AJP Group and it is encouraging to see local as well as national companies continue to invest in the club."
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