A FOOTBALL club’s fans fear it may not be able to field a team next season after struggling to raise running costs.

Ebbsfleet United was taken over by supporters’ website MyFootballClub in February last year, with around 20,000 members making a one off payment of £35 each for a share in the club for a year.

In February this year chairman John Moules said around 12,000 renewal subscriptions are needed to meet the running costs for the coming season, but so far only 9,650 people have subscribed.

The board will meet on May 6, and Mr Moules said: “We will have to adjust the budget and look at other ways to raise money.”

Only five squad members of the club based at Stonebridge Road, Northfleet, have been signed to a contract for next season, and the rest became free agents on Saturday (May 2).

With the club struggling for money, supporter Drummond Millis says he fears the Blue Square Premier side will not be able to afford to sign enough players to field a team next season.

The 67-year-old said: “Obviously the club is struggling financially, so I do genuinely worry whether we’ll have enough players for next season.

“Supporters owning the club means there is real fan participation, so I hope it does not have to be sold.”

Chairman Mr Moules said the club would not be sold and “a way would be found to raise the running costs for the coming season”.

One option being considered is reducing the number of subscribers to 5,000 but raising the annual fee to £100.

Last week MyFootballClub members voted to transfer £20,000 from the website to Ebbsfleet to plug a hole in the club’s finances caused by an accounting error.

The club had accidentally doubled its estimate of the amount it would receive from gate receipts in April.

MyFootballClub is a not-for-profit organisation, which was set up in April 2007 with the aim of owning and developing a football club.

More than 50,000 supporters joined the site and around 20,000 of them each paid the one-off fee to invest in and run a team, choosing Ebbsfleet.