Port Vale chairman says no new contracts until the summer

Tom Pope
Tom Pope has scored 10 goals for Port Vale this season

Port Vale chairman Norman Smurthwaite says he will not give out any new contracts until the end of the season.

Among the first-team regulars out of contract in summer are striker Tom Pope, winger Mark Marshall and midfielder Michael O'Connor.

"I'd like to still think there's potential to be playing more than one game in May," he told BBC Radio Stoke.

"But if we only play one game, I will then look at what we're going (with contracts) the second week."

Vale are currently 15th in League One, six points outside the play-off places.

As well as waiting to see whether his side make the top six, Smurthwaite believes they took the wrong approach to building the squad for this season, after signing eight new senior players since last campaign.

Port Vale signings since 2013/14 season
Ryan McGivern - Free, Hibernian
Steven Jennings - Free, Tranmere
Michael O'Connor - Free, Rotherham
Michael Brown - Free, Leeds
Mark Marshall - Free, Coventry
Byron Moore - Free, Crewe
Aziz Deen Conteh - Free, FC Ergotelis
Alex Nimely - Free, Manchester City

"We've had the upheaval with (manager) Micky Adams leaving," said Smurthwaite.

"He was hoping for a Championship club offer and when he realised that wasn't going to happen he went out and bought some players quickly.

"I'm not convinced that's a way to build a good squad to get us into the play-offs.

"And then Micky goes, Rob Page comes in and he's hamstrung with the squad.

"There's been some development players signed for their potential maybe next season but he's been hamstrung.

"In an ideal situation he'd have said give me a clean piece of paper and I'll build a squad that will get us into the play-offs."

Meanwhile, the club are facing a large bill to replace the floodlights at Vale Park.

"To make us compatible with the Championship, we need to replace all the lights. The overall cost is about £190,000."

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