Page last updated at 11:42 GMT, Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Club hit by fans withdrawing cash

Port Vale FC
The club will receive less money from fans' savings accounts

Port Vale FC's chairman has said fans withdrawing money from savings accounts during the economic downturn could cost his club thousands of pounds.

The club, and neighbours Stoke City FC, receive annual dividends from designated fans' savings accounts with Leek-based Britannia Building Society.

Port Vale's Bill Bratt said the Bank of England's decision to cut interest rates would also reduce returns.

He said the scheme was a major source of money for the League Two club.

Bonus payment

Britannia Building Society said the club had received more than 2.5m from its account since it was set up in 2000.

For each of the special fans' accounts, Britannia gives the club an annual bonus payment which is the equivalent of up to 1% of the daily average balances held by the fans.

Mr Bratt said: "It's possibly one of the biggest earners outside of gate revenues so it certainly does have a big effect on the football club."

Britannia Building Society said: "The current economic climate is causing far-reaching effects across the country as people have to look harder at what they do with their money.

"Growing pressures on disposable income and falling interest rates have unfortunately led to a lower return for clubs from these types of saving accounts.

"The level of income was never guaranteed and is ultimately determined by the level of savings invested by fans."

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