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Fans fear Vale on the brink

Football News 24/7
According to the Staffordshire Sentinel, Port Vale's local paper the club 'appear to be on the brink of going into administration after being sanctioned for failing to pay a tax bill.'

​As we reported at the weekend, Vale's latest financial woe prompted the Football League to impose a transfer embargo, which meant former LA Galaxy midfielder Chris Birchall was unable to make his debut in Saturday's 2-1 win at Northampton Town.

In recent weeks, Vale have missed a £19,616 instalment on their £2.25 million city council loan, been sued by their Essex-based shirt sponsor Harlequin Property over the repayment of a £125,000 loan, and taken out a £277,000 mortgage on Vale Park with Gibraltar-based Continental Solutions.

They are also in dispute with the Milton Keynes-based company who produce the matchday programmes, and the American sponsor of their tour to the United States last summer.

A statement issued by Vale's vice-chairman, Mike Lloyd, said: "We are behind with payments because of a revenue shortfall.

"The various (anti-board) campaigns and increased overheads, coupled with lower match attendances nationally, have had a huge effect on income, circa to a loss of £200,000 so far this season."

Neither Lloyd nor chief executive Perry Deakin responded to the Sentinel requests to discuss the club's plight. It was a tax bill that sent the club plunging into administration in December 2002 when Vale were unable to meet debts totalling £590,000 owed to Customs and Excise and the Inland Revenue.

The club has not revealed the amount of current debt to the tax man.

Former chairman Bill Bratt, a founder member of the Valiant 2001 fans' group who brought the club out of administration in 2003, said: "It seems obvious that the club isn't being run right because otherwise these bills would be paid on time."

Shareholders will get the chance to oust Vale's board at an Extraordinary General Meeting on Tuesday, March 13, the same day the club is holding its Annual General Meeting.

Administration would almost certainly result in a 10 point deduction. Vale are currently 8th - they would drop to 16th and almost certainly out of the play-offs if they do go under.



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