Neil Aspin: Port Vale manager resigns after 15 months in charge
Port Vale boss Neil Aspin has quit his job with the League Two club after 15 months in charge.
The 53-year-old's exit follows just one win in 12 games in all competitions, with Vale 18th in the table, just six points above the relegation zone.
His assistant Lee Nogan will also leave the club.
"I have decided that in the best interests of Port Vale FC that I must resign with immediate effect," Aspin said in a statement.
The former defender made 410 appearances in 10 seasons as a player at Vale Park, having begun his career at Leeds United.
"Anyone who knows me and who knows my association with the club as a player and now manager will know it is a very difficult decision and one I haven't taken lightly," he added.
"I inherited a very difficult job with the club staring relegation in the face.
"I am very proud of the job we did in keeping the club in League Two and we leave the club in a better place on and off the pitch.
"I fully accept results from December have been poor and expected to be higher up the table and know the players are capable of doing that."
Resignation accepted 'with heavy heart'
Aspin was manager at National League side Gateshead before replacing Michael Brown as Port Vale boss in October 2017 with the club 22nd in the fourth tier.
He won six of his first nine games in charge, but results began to falter after Christmas.
It took Vale 15 games to achieve their first victory of 2018, and they won just once more before last season ended.
Despite that, they still secured their Football League status with three games left, eventually finishing three places and one point above the relegation zone.
This season Aspin has led Vale to eight victories in 30 league games, and the team's tally of 27 goals is the lowest in the division.
"It is with a heavy heart that I have accepted the resignation of Neil Aspin," said chairman Norman Smurthwaite in a statement.
"When we appointed Neil in October 2017 it was with a five-year plan in mind and the intention to bring long term stability to the club and return to League One.
"I have supported Neil throughout and we increased the budget this season to try and help achieve our ambition.
"Neil, being the gentleman that he is, had offered his resignation to me previously - but I felt that with the squad that we had and the opportunity to strengthen that the season could be turned around."
Smurthwaite added: "We do operate in a results driven business and our recent results have not been what we had all hoped and I have reluctantly now agreed to accept Neil's resignation."
Vale have yet to announce who will take over the running of team affairs until Aspin's successor is appointed."