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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 February, 2003, 11:56 GMT
Fans take over Port Vale
Fans of troubled Second Division club Port Vale have taken over the club.

Supporters' group Valiant 2001 won the battle to become the new owners after administrators announced it as the preferred bid.

The decision, which has to be approved at a creditors' meeting on 17 March, allays Vale fears of a merger with Potteries rivals Stoke City.

Stoke's Icelandic owners were among those looking to gain control of the club.

That raised the spectre among Vale fans of a ground share at Stoke's Britannia Stadium, with an eventual merger of the two clubs.

Adminstrator Bob Young, of Poppleton and Appleby, chose the supporters' group ahead of rival bids from Waterworld owner Mo Chaudry, Summerbank Management, business partners Steve Ball and Iain McIntosh, and Stoke's owners.

Peter Walker from Valiant 2001 told BBC Radio Stoke: "We're very pleased with the announcement and the hard work has paid off so far.

"We want it to be a club owned and run by its supporters."

The news was also welcomed by Vale manager Brian Horton, who admitted: "It's been a worrying time.

"But the only thing we all want is to see football remain in Burslem."





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