The Daily Mail reports that Port Vale chairman Norman Smurthwaite turned down the opportunity to appoint Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as manager of the Vale Park club in 2013. The owner went on to reveal some controversial reasons behind the decision not to hire him.

It was around about the time when the League One club were given an official FA warning after racist chanting was heard at Port Vale’s home game with Bradford City in 2013. Smurthwaite revealed that he didn’t believe it was right to give Hasselbaink the job, considering the racism investigation that the club was involved in,

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“I didn’t take him because of the racial issue the club had got. I didn’t think it was fair on him.

Can you imagine the poor bloke getting abuse, along with the normal abuse if results were going against him?

He would have been right for the club without a doubt but I don’t think the club would have been right for him.”

Smurthwaite, who has been chairman of the Stoke based club since 2013, went on to say how ‘ninety-nine per cent of our fans are excellent but a small minority leave us with policing and other issues’, comments which angered Supporters club chairwomen Ally Simcock,

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“I’m shocked with what he has said.

I think the club has had issues with racism, but I don’t believe they were any worse than at any other football club.

There have been a minority of fans intent on causing problems and race, as well as other discrimination, has been brought into it, but I don’t think having a black manager at the club would have been wrong.”

Smurthwaite bought the club for £1.2million in 2012, but has recently put the club up for sale. Hasselbaink went on to take over at Burton Albion, guiding them to the League Two championship last season, leaving them in top spot of League One, before being appointed as manager of Queens Park Rangers last week.


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I currently work as a Championship Research Analyst for Onside Analysis Ltd. In this role I provide match previews and reviews for every Championship game. I also delve into matches from all across the globe, gaining an insight into football from different leagues in different countries. I came into this role shortly after graduating from The University of Hull after studying BSc Sports Coaching & Performance. I am a Lincoln City fan and thankfully they're back in The72!!