2000–01 Port Vale F.C. season
|Football League Second Division||11th (62 Points)|
|FA Cup||First Round|
(knocked out by Canvey Island)
|League Cup||First Round|
(knocked out by Chesterfield)
|Player of the Year||Dave Brammer|
|Top goalscorer||League: Tony Naylor (15)|
All: Tony Naylor (21)
|Highest home attendance||8,948 vs. Stoke City, 17 September 2000|
|Lowest home attendance||1,919 vs. Notts County, 9 January 2001|
|Average home league attendance||4,458|
|Biggest win||5–0 vs. Peterborough United, 10 March 2001|
|Biggest defeat||0–4 vs. Cambridge United, 12 September 2000|
The 2000–01 season was Port Vale's 89th season of football in the English Football League, and first season back (thirty-eighth overall) in the Second Division. A season of two halves, Vale were struggling at the bottom of the table when Isthmian League minnows Canvey Island knocked the Vale out of the FA Cup with a 2–1 victory at Vale Park in 'one of the great shocks in FA Cup history'. They also exited the League Cup at the First Round. Things turned round in the second half of the season, as a twelve-game unbeaten run in the league was complemented with a League Trophy Final win over Brentford – the second time the club lifted the trophy. In the background of this was a financial crisis at the club, which motivated fan protests against Chairman Bill Bell.
- 1 Overview
- 2 League table
- 3 Results
- 4 Player statistics
- 5 Transfers
- 6 References
The pre-season saw Brian Horton sign Irish goalkeeper Dean Delany (Everton); midfielder Marc Bridge-Wilkinson (Derby County); and Michael Twiss (Manchester United) – all on free transfers. He also brought in David Freeman on a loan deal from Nottingham Forest, as well as David Beresford from Huddersfield Town. Horton also signed South African striker Sinclair Le Geyt on a one-month contract, though he would not make a first team appearance. On the eve of the season, top scorer Tony Rougier was sold to Reading for £325,000.
The season opened with a disappointing 4–1 defeat at Boundary Park to Oldham Athletic, though the Vale then recovered to record two 3–0 victories. Two points from the next seven games follow, turning hopes of promotion into fears of relegation, and putting pressure onto Horton. During this run the Vale renewed hostilities with rivals Stoke City, recording a 1–1 draw at Burslem on 17 September. Their form stabilized with a four-game unbeaten run throughout November, but then no points were gained from any of the four December games. Horton attempted to sign Isaiah Rankin on loan from Bradford City, but Bill Bell rejected the move as he felt the wage bill was already too high. In January, young striker Steve Brooker was signed from Watford for a £15,000 fee. Jamaican international striker Onandi Lowe also arrived on a short-team deal, and Wayne Gray joined on loan from Wimbledon. Vale then found their feet in February, and managed to avoid defeat to Stoke at the Britannia Stadium, as they lost just three of their final 21 league games. In March, Jeff Minton was transferred to Rotherham United, and Ashley Dodd arrived at Vale Park on loan from Manchester United. The next month Richard Burgess also joined the club after leaving Bromsgrove Rovers. A cup run and numerous fixture postponements meant the club were forced to play eight games in April, of which only two ended in defeat; for this achievement Horton was named Manager of the Month. The 1 May draw with Manor Ground was the final match in the stadium's 125-year history. Two days later, the final home game of the season, Billy Paynter made his debut aged only 16 years and 294 days.
They finished in eleventh place with 62 points, some distance from both the play-off and the relegation zones. They finished six places and fifteen points away from Stoke, who went on to lose in the play-offs. Tony Naylor was the club's top-scorer with 21 goals in all competitions, with new players Bridge-Wilkinson and Brooker also hitting double figures.
At the end of the season numerous players left the club: seven-year club legend and top-scorer Tony Naylor (Cheltenham Town); eight-year club veteran Allen Tankard (Mansfield Town); former Player of the Year Tommy Widdrington (Hartlepool United); Alex Smith (Reading); Richard Eyre (Macclesfield Town); Dele Olaoye (Stafford Rangers); and Michael Twiss (Leigh RMI). Dave Brammer was also sold to Crewe Alexandra for £500,000 – a move that highly upset many Vale fans.
Before the season began director Peter Wright quit the club, though Bell said he had in fact been sacked. Work on the Lorne Street stand ground to a halt, as the club ran out of money to complete the project. Vale were in a financial crisis, and fans protested against Chairman Bill Bell. There were rumours of a merger with Stoke City, as the media reported the possible financial collapse of the club. A rare positive note was a £250,000 five-year sponsorship deal with the Bass Brewery. Local barrister Charles Machin was appointed onto the club board in July 2000, and in November stated that "my 10-year ambition is to see the Vale in the top five clubs in Europe. It is my profound belief the power of God will help get the Vale to the top." Machin handed Brian Horton a 60 section questionnaire on each player on the team every two weeks, and was branded as "belligerent, uncooperative and bizarre" by the League Managers Association. Nevertheless, the director insists that he has the club's backing to sign players from Cameroon and Italy, and publicly berates rival club Stoke City, whilst Bell states that he is in negotiations for a player-exchange deal with Brazilian club Corinthian. In October, Machin tells the press that he would sack Brian Horton if the club had the money to pay for his severance package; meanwhile Marketing Manager Rob Edwards resigns after less than two months into the job. Machin quit the club in November, and two months later set up 'Valiant2001', a fan based consortium looking to buy the club off Bill Bell. Former vice-chairman Mike Thompstone also attempted a takeover of the club, which was resisted by Bell. The Valiant2001 project took off with Machin at the helm, who said he should be the new chairman as "I can't think of anyone I trust more than myself". The project raised £73,000 by June, and Thompstone also pledged his support. Ex-director Stephen Plant also sued the Bell and the club in November, and made a £100,000 settlement in May. Another director, shopkeeper Neil Hughes, resigned in February; he returned to the club the next month, only to resign for a second time in six weeks. Dave Jolley (who had previously resigned at Stockport County after proposing a move to Maine Road) was appointed Chief Executive in February. The club's shirt sponsors were Tunstall Assurance.
In the FA Cup, Vale suffered humiliation. Leading 2–0 at half-time, they reached full-time with a 4–4 draw at non-league Canvey Island after two last-minute Canvey goals. Back at Vale Park, the game was goalless after normal time, and Canvey scored two extra-time goals to win the match 2–1 after a last second strike from Naylor. Vale responded to the humiliation by putting five players on the transfer list: Liam Burns, Ville Viljanen, Sagi Burton, Jeff Minton and Michael Twiss.
In the League Cup, for the third consecutive season Vale lost in the First Round to a Third Division side, this time Chesterfield. After a 2–1 defeat at Saltergate, Chesterfield held on to a 2–2 draw in Burslem.
In the League Trophy, the Vale eased past Notts County with a 3–0 win. They then faced Chester City of the Conference, who they defeated 2–0. The area quarter-final also proved to be no challenge for Vale, as they triumphed 4–0 over Darlington. The semi-final stage held a real challenge however, with the match against rivals Stoke City held at the Britannia Stadium despite the draw giving Vale a home tie. Cummins put Vale ahead before Nicky Mohan equalized to take the match into extra-time. A 105th minute Bridge-Wilkinson penalty put Vale into the regional final. It was a two-legged affair with Lincoln City, and Vale were the victors with a 2–0 win at Sincil Bank, thanks to goals from Bridge-Wilkinson and Naylor. Brentford awaited in the final at the Millennium Stadium. Vale lifted the trophy for the second time with a 2–1 victory, Bridge-Wilkinson and Steve Brooker scoring the goals.
P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points
Port Vale's score comes first
Football League Second Division
Results by matchday
; = Away; = Home; = Win; = Draw = Loss
|12 August 2000||Oldham Athletic||A||1–4||5,639||Twiss|
|19 August 2000||Oxford United||H||3–0||3,814||Bridge-Wilkinson (2), Naylor|
|28 August 2000||Swindon Town||H||3–0||3,926||Naylor (2), Smith|
|2 September 2000||Reading||H||0–1||4,701|
|9 September 2000||Bournemouth||A||1–1||3,859||Viljanen|
|12 September 2000||Cambridge United||A||0–4||3,660|
|17 September 2000||Stoke City||H||1–1||8,948||Bridge-Wilkinson|
|23 September 2000||Bury||A||0–2||3,176|
|30 September 2000||Wycombe Wanderers||H||0–1||3,615|
|8 October 2000||Peterborough United||A||0–2||4,752|
|14 October 2000||Colchester United||H||3–1||3,192||Naylor (2), Tankard|
|17 October 2000||Northampton Town||H||2–2||4,215||Tankard, Viljanen|
|21 October 2000||Wigan Athletic||A||0–1||6,275|
|24 October 2000||Brentford||H||1–1||3,338||Widdrington|
|28 October 2000||Swansea City||A||1–0||3,715||Cummins|
|4 November 2000||Millwall||H||1–1||4,559||Brammer|
|25 November 2000||Luton Town||H||3–0||4,194||Walsh, Naylor, Minton|
|2 December 2000||Walsall||A||1–2||5,597||O'Callaghan|
|16 December 2000||Bristol City||H||1–2||4,113||Bridge-Wilkinson|
|22 December 2000||Rotherham United||H||0–2||4,110|
|26 December 2000||Wrexham||A||0–1||4,941|
|6 January 2001||Oldham Athletic||H||0–0||4,313|
|13 January 2001||Swindon Town||A||1–0||5,175||Widdrington|
|27 January 2001||Rotherham United||A||2–3||5,044||Cummins, Brooker|
|3 February 2001||Reading||A||0–1||9,026|
|10 February 2001||Bournemouth||H||2–1||3,956||Naylor, Brisco|
|17 February 2001||Stoke City||A||1–1||22,133||Brammer|
|20 February 2001||Cambridge United||H||4–2||3,558||Bridge-Wilkinson (pen), Lowe, Naylor, Brooker|
|24 February 2001||Bury||H||1–1||4,331||Bridge-Wilkinson|
|3 March 2001||Wycombe Wanderers||A||1–0||4,828||Brooker|
|7 March 2001||Colchester United||A||1–0||2,579||Brammer|
|10 March 2001||Peterborough United||H||5–0||4,787||Naylor, Tankard, Smith, Bridge-Wilkinson (pen), Twiss|
|24 March 2001||Wigan Athletic||H||0–0||5,017|
|27 March 2001||Notts County||A||1–0||4,603||Brooker|
|31 March 2001||Bristol City||A||1–1||11,782||Brooker|
|3 April 2001||Wrexham||H||1–1||4,234||Naylor|
|9 April 2001||Bristol Rovers||H||1–0||3,962||Naylor|
|11 April 2001||Millwall||A||0–1||11,944|
|14 April 2001||Brentford||A||1–1||3,671||Bridge-Wilkinson (pen)|
|16 April 2001||Swansea City||H||1–0||4,396||Brooker|
|26 April 2001||Northampton Town||A||2–0||4,775||Naylor, Brooker|
|28 April 2001||Notts County||H||2–3||5,236||Brooker (2)|
|30 April 2001||Bristol Rovers||A||3–0||7,340||Naylor (2), Bridge-Wilkinson|
|1 May 2001||Oxford United||A||1–1||7,080||Naylor|
|3 May 2001||Walsall||H||0–2||6,027|
|5 May 2001||Luton Town||A||1–1||5,260||Tankard|
|R1||19 November 2000||Canvey Island||A||4–4||2,100||Minton (2), Brammer, Bridge-Wilkinson|
|R1||28 November 2000||Canvey Island||H||1–2||3,566||Naylor|
|R1 1st Leg||22 August 2000||Chesterfield||A||1–2||3,485||Burton|
|R1 2nd Leg||5 September 2000||Chesterfield||H||2–2||3,480||Bridge-Wilkinson, Minton|
|R1||9 January 2001||Notts County||H||3–0||1,919||Smith, Brooker, Naylor|
|R2||30 January 2001||Chester City||H||2–0||2,507||Doughty (og), Naylor|
|RQF||6 February 2001||Darlington||H||4–0||2,480||Naylor (2), Lowe, Tankard|
|RSF||5 March 2001||Stoke City||H||2–1||11,323||Cummins, Bridge-Wilkinson (pen)|
|RF Leg 1||13 March 2001||Lincoln City||A||2–0||4,813||Bridge-Wilkinson, Naylor|
|RF Leg 2||20 March 2001||Lincoln City||H||0–0||5,172|
|F||26 April 2001||Brentford||N||2–1||25,654||Bridge-Wilkinson (pen), Brooker|
|Pos.||#||Name||Football League||FA Cup||League Cup||League Trophy||Total|
|Players that left the club mid-season:|
|FW||Sinclair Le Geyt||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Place||Position||Nation||Number||Name||Second Division||FA Cup||League Cup||League Trophy||Total|
|–||DF||Saint Kitts and Nevis||6||Sagi Burton||0||1||0||0||1|
|May 2000||MF||Marc Bridge-Wilkinson||Derby County||Free transfer|||
|June 2000||GK||Dean Delany||Everton||Free transfer|||
|July 2000||MF||Michael Twiss||Manchester United||Free transfer|||
|January 2001||FW||Steve Brooker||Watford||£15,000|||
|April 2001||FW||Richard Burgess||Bromsgrove Rovers||Free transfer|||
|May 2001||MF||Dele Olaoye||Michigan Bucks||Free transfer|||
|June 2001||DF||Allen Tankard||Mansfield Town||Released|||
|June 2001||MF||Michael Twiss||Leigh RMI||Free transfer|||
|July 2001||MF||Jeff Minton||Rotherham United||Free transfer|||
|July 2001||MF||Alex Smith||Reading||Free transfer|||
|July 2001||FW||Ville Viljanen||GAIS||Free transfer|||
|July 2001||MF||Tommy Widdrington||Hartlepool United||Released|||
|August 2001||MF||Dave Brammer||Crewe Alexandra||£500,000|||
|August 2001||MF||Richard Eyre||Macclesfield Town||Free transfer|||
|Summer 2001||FW||Tony Naylor||Cheltenham Town||Released|||
|Date from||Position||Nationality||Name||From||Date to||Ref.|
|8 September 2000||FW||David Freeman||Nottingham Forest||8 October 2000|||
|15 September 2000||FW||Wayne Gray||Huddersfield Town||15 October 2000|||
|6 October 2000||MF||David Beresford||Wimbledon||6 November 2000|||
|1 January 2001||FW||Onandi Lowe||Kansas City Wizards||1 May 2001|||
|5 January 2001||FW||Steve Brooker||Watford||18 January 2001|||
|22 March 2001||MF||Ashley Dodd||Manchester United||7 May 2001|||
- "Going Canvey crazy". BBC Sport. 29 November 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- "Trialist at Vale Park". BBC Sport. 5 July 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- "Vale sign Twiss from Man Utd". BBC Sport. 25 July 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- "Vale sign Derby youngster". BBC Sport. 10 July 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- "Reading snap up Rougier". BBC Sport. 11 August 2000. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
- "The strife of Brian". BBC Sport. 23 November 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- "Horton named manager of month". BBC Sport. 3 April 2001. Retrieved 2 June 2009.
- "Tankard's the toast of Field Mill". BBC Sport. 20 July 2001. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- "Hartlepool sign trio". BBC Sport. 15 July 2001. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- "Reading bag Vale's Smith". BBC Sport. 18 July 2001. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- "Valiant 2001 critical of Brammer sale". web.archive.org. 10 August 2001. Archived from the original on 12 October 2002. Retrieved 6 January 2011.
- "Veiled threat for Vale". BBC Sport. 18 December 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- "Vale will not merge". BBC Sport. 26 September 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- "Port Vale not facing 'cash crisis'". BBC Sport. 29 December 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- "Vale get new Bass backing". BBC Sport. 30 June 2001. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- What If There Had Been No Port In The Vale?: Startling Port Vale Stories! p. 175 (Witan Books, 2011, ISBN 978-0-9529152-8-7)
- "Stockport MD resigns over row". BBC Sport. 5 December 2000. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- "He's A Jolley Good Fellow". port-vale.co.uk. 17 November 2004. Retrieved 7 April 2012.
- "Canvey Island 4-4 Port Vale". BBC Sport. 19 November 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- "Port Vale 1-2 Canvey Island (aet)". BBC Sport. 28 November 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- "Five up for sale at Vale". BBC Sport. 4 December 2000. Retrieved 18 January 2011.
- "Port Vale's route to Cardiff". BBC Sport. 18 April 2001. Retrieved 25 June 2009.[permanent dead link]
- "Vale vault Brentford to lift Vans trophy". BBC Sport. 22 April 2001. Retrieved 25 June 2009.
- Port Vale 2000–2001 : Results & Fixtures. Statto Organisation. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "Port Vale FC Club Details | Transfers | Soccer Base". www.soccerbase.com. Retrieved 7 October 2016.