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Vale chairman faces huge losses

Bill Bratt
Bratt headed the supporters group that took Vale out of administration in 2003

Port Vale chairman Bill Bratt will lose his life savings if the club goes into administration for a second time, reports BBC Radio Stoke.

The League Two club have been in financial difficulty since a supporters' group, headed by Bratt, saved the club from extinction in 2003.

"I would lose my life savings to start off with, because that's all gone into the club anyway," said Bratt.

"Everybody would have to put 50,000 to 100,000 in to cover their guarantees."

Bratt also said offers of investment have been made to help the club out of financial trouble, but that those offers have been unsuitable.

He added: "You can't spend money you haven't got, and we haven't got any more money to put in.

"The [potential buyers] that have come into the club previously haven't either, because when you ask for proof of funding, it hasn't been forthcoming."

Vale went into administration in 2003, but were saved from receivership by supporters' group Valiant 2001 after a lengthy takeover bid.

After their relegation to League Two, the club were boosted by the sale of 6,500 season tickets at reduced prices.

I'd love to offer the same season ticket deal to the supporters next year but we need to sell 5,000 because we need to get the same amount of money that we have in the last couple of seasons through the gate

Port Vale chairman Bill Bratt

However, Bratt does not think he will be able to offer the same deal - an adult season ticket cost 183 in 2008/09 - again for the 2009/10 season.

"I'd love to offer the same deal to the supporters but we need to sell 5,000 because we need to get the same amount of money that we have in the last couple of seasons through the gate," said the Vale chairman.

"To let them have it at that price, it's got to be 5,000 minimum."

Earlier this season, the club avoided what could have become a long and expensive court battle with former manager Lee Sinnott.

Sinnott, who was sacked in September 2008, began legal proceedings against Vale claiming his settlement payment had not been made in full within 28 days of his dismissal.

The club agreed an out-of-court settlement with Sinnott in February.

Also last month, Bratt announced that the club's majority shareholder, pop star Robbie Williams, would not be making any more investment in Port Vale.

On the pitch, things have gone little better for the team - they have rarely looked like mounting a promotion challenge in their first campaign in League Two.

At least 200 supporters protested against the board and manager Dean Glover after their last home match, a 3-1 defeat against Luton on 28 February.

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see also
Vale deny Williams 'investment'
16 Feb 09 |  Port Vale
Vale reach agreement with Sinnott
12 Feb 09 |  Port Vale
Vale reject administration fears
02 Dec 08 |  Port Vale
Bratt rubbishes takeover rumours
20 Oct 08 |  Port Vale
Port Vale hit their 5,000 target
29 May 08 |  Port Vale
Port Vale make Bratt appointment
24 May 06 |  Port Vale
Williams buys stake in Port Vale
27 Feb 06 |  Entertainment
Consortium saves Port Vale
30 Dec 03 |  Port Vale
Axe hovers over Valiants
10 Dec 03 |  Port Vale
Fans bid for Port Vale accepted
13 Mar 03 |  Port Vale


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