Port Vale’s biggest transfer fees: as any Port Vale fan will know, the club doesn’t have the stature of a Manchester United or Real Madrid.
This is shown by port-vale.co.uk and is only natural for a team that hasn’t yet made it to the top-flight division in their country!
However, the club still has plenty of history that’s worth revisiting. This includes classic matches such as the team’s famous 1988 upset of cup holders Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup 4th round.
There’s also history when it comes to those who have played for the club. Neville Southall, one of the best goalkeepers during his era, once had a loan spell at Port Vale. Another well-known name is Mark Chamberlain, who spent four years at the club and was eventually capped eight times by England.
So what are the biggest transfer fees Port Vale has ever received. Now this list isn’t going to blow anyone away. There are no Brazilian superstars or graceful Italians to be found. What is presented, however, is an interesting look into Port Vale’s history – specifically the 1990’s.
Gareth Ainsworth (£2 million)
Ainsworth’s £2 million deal might seem like a lot, but according to research from CashLady, Cristiano Ronaldo earns more than ten times that amount each year.
While nobody expects the Portuguese icon to become a secret benefactor for Port Vale, the club has to settle for Gareth Ainsworth being the biggest sale in its history so far – a record that has stood since 1998.
Funnily enough, it was a shrewd piece of business by the club. This is because Ainsworth was signed the year previous for a club-record transfer fee of £500,000. After a single year at the club, Port Vale sold him for a 300% profit.
Jon McCarthy (£1.5 million)
After two seasons at the club, Northern Ireland international Jon McCarthy was sold to Birmingham City in 1997. Even though he made 124 appearances for Birmingham, his spell at the club was blighted on three separate occasions where he broke his leg.
In 2002, McCarthy returned to Port Vale on a free transfer for a short spell, playing eight games.
Ian Taylor (£1 million)
Ian Taylor had a memorable two-year spell with Port Vale between 1992 and 1994. He was part of the team that won the 1993 Football League Trophy, and he was also awarded Port Vale’s Player of the Year award at the same time.
Due to these impressive showings, Sheffield Wednesday got in touch and purchased Taylor for £1 million. However, he made his biggest impact at Aston Villa, Playing in the Premier League, he helped Villa win the League Cup and appeared 233 times for the club over ten seasons.
Lee Mills (£1 million)
Another member of the £1 million club is Lee Mills. The striker was a hit for Port Vale during the mid-late ’90s, with his goals helping the club reach their highest post-war league finish. It was also these goals that saw Bradford City come in and snatch Mills with that £1 million transfer fee in 1998.
Mills had fleeting success at Bradford. His first season saw him top the club’s scoring charts with 24 goals, and this was integral in securing promotion to the Premier League. Yet following this, injuries and falling outs saw him quickly disappear from the starting line-up. He left Bradford in 2000, bounced around a few clubs, but never recaptured the form that saw him become worth £1 million at one point in time.