Tom Pope: Port Vale striker not happy at club's pay cut offer

Tom Pope
Tom Pope scored 33 goals in the 2012-13 season, helping Port Vale win promotion to League One

Port Vale striker Tom Pope says he 'cannot afford' to take a pay cut to stay with his boyhood club.

The 29-year-old Potteries-born forward, who has scored 66 goals in 177 appearances since initially joining Vale on loan in 2011, has been offered a new deal by the League One side.

"I want to stay until the end of my career," he told BBC Radio Stoke.

"But next summer I'll be 30. I cannot afford to take that sort of pay cut. If I was 18, it wouldn't be a problem."

Pope signed his current two-and-a-half year deal in February 2013, when he was the country's leading scorer, having netted 27 goals.

Tom Pope's Port Vale record
Prior to the 2012-13 season, the Stoke-born boyhood Vale fan scored 29 goals in 163 league games for Crewe, Rotherham and Vale.
Pope hit 31 league goals in Vale's 2012-13 promotion-winning campaign to help Micky Adams' men back to League One for the first time since 2008.
The 2011 summer signing from Rotherham netted 16 goals in all competitions last season as Vale finished ninth in League One.
He has nine goals this season but has not played since 21 October because of a knee injury.

But Vale chairman Norman Smurthwaite has already publicly stated that he was unhappy with the terms offered to Pope by his former business partner Paul Wildes, who was then the Vale chairman.

"It is disproportionate to what our turnover is and to our fan base," said Smurthwaite last month. "At the end of the day, we're trying to run a business."

Pope has since suffered a knee ligament injury which is expected to sideline him until January, meaning a move in the transfer window is unlikely.

And he admits that the disparity between his own and the chairman's valuation of what his weekly wage should be is unlikely to alter.

"Nothing's changed," added Pope. "He's put a contract offer to me. But, if the club can't budge, then it's something I'll have a look at in the summer.

"I don't want to move anywhere but I'm not going to hold them to ransom. I've not gone in and kicked his door down."