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Page last updated at 13:00 GMT, Wednesday, 27 April 2011 14:00 UK

Port Vale fans boycott season tickets to oust board

Port Vale chairman Bill Bratt
Port Vale chairman Bill Bratt took charge at Vale Park in 2003

A group of Port Vale supporters is calling on fans to boycott buying season tickets in an attempt to force the club's board out.

The Starve Em Out campaign has the backing of over 1,600 would-be season ticket holders, which could amount to £400,000 in lost revenue for Vale.

Starve Em Out founder Mark Rutter told BBC Radio Stoke: "We're expecting a lot more pledges.

"I won't go to Vale again until this board stands down."

The current board took charge at Vale Park in December 2003 when the Valiants were in administration.

The fan-backed Valiant 2001, with Bill Bratt installed as chairman, led Vale out of administration a season later.

Since then, the club have had six full-time managers and have slipped into the bottom tier of the Football League - where they will again play next season after their hopes of reaching the play-offs ended with Monday's defeat at Stevenage.

Local businessman Mo Chaudry has offered to purchase 51% of shares in the Burslem outfit - worth £1.2m - in an attempt to gain a controlling interest, but club rules state that no one person can own more than 24.9%.

Chaudry has since revised his proposal and submitted a joint offer with another local businessman, Mark Simms.

The pair have both offered to buy 24.9% of shares giving them a combined total of 49.8%.

Lifelong Vale fan Rutter, 30, added: "We want to starve the club of funds because we want the board to notice the fans' views.

"They're not listening to shareholders or other fan groups. We want a new future for Port Vale and we want new investment to take the club forward. It's down to fan power now."

Another group of Vale fans have established the 'Black and Gold until it's sold' campaign and wear black and gold scarves in protest against the board.

A third group, the North London Valiants, sent a questionnaire to the club's shareholders which showed that 40% are in favour of calling an extraordinary general meeting.

"The meeting will look to vote off the current board," said NLV spokesman Malcolm Hirst.

"Recently they have ignored a request by local millionaire businessman and life-long Vale fan, Mark Sims, to buy 24.9% of the shares.

"It is unbelievable given the current precarious financial position of the club that the board could simply ignore such a request to purchase these shares."

Port Vale have so far been unavailable to comment.

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