“I can sleep at night now,” said one Cobblers fan at Sixfields this afternoon as Northampton Town supporters welcomed the dawn of a new era under Kelvin Thomas.
The newly instated chairman was greeted by a lively crowd for the club’s first game under his stewardship against bottom-of-the-table Yeovil Town, taking up a seat on the front row of the directors’ box. A seat formerly occupied by outgoing chairman David Cardoza.
Cobblers fans, buoyed up by the knowledge the club will not now face a 12-point penalty or a winding up order, were in high spirits and many took to Carr’s Bar early to enjoy the atmosphere.
Some stopped to give their views on the new man in charge.
Roger Frisby, a man who said he has “never not been a Cobblers fan,” said: “The takeover means it’s got to be better than where we were, we were facing oblivion.
“He (Kelvin Thomas) seems genuine, his first interviews were measured.
“And he hasn’t come in here with a retinue of people, which is a good thing.
“He has owned a lower-league club before so he knows about the sort of problems we face.”
John, Finney, 83, who went to his first Cobblers game back in 1938 and lived a stone’s throw from the old County Ground, said he was also positive about the new chairman and his credentials.
But he said Mr Thomas would need to focus his efforts on completing the East Stand at Sixfields.
“In this day and age we need a modern stadium,” he said.
Northampton borough councillor Brandon Eldred was one of the 4,989 people through the turnstile on a wet and windy Saturday.
Speaking before the game he said: “There’s a buzz this afternoon, I’ve been talking to some people and everyone is really happy I think. Some people still feel there could be a sting in the tail though.
“It has been a long time coming and it has been a lot of stress on the council.”
Councillor Eldred, however welcomed for a public inquiry into how the £10.25 million loan to Northampton Town nearly brought it to its knees.
Neil Chapman and his brother Darren have supported the Cobblers for more than 60 years between them.
Neil said: “I think Kelvin Thomas is definitely the guy to take over.
“What I liked about him was the comment he made, where he said the quickest way for a club to make money is to get promoted.
“That to me says he is in it for the football.
“That alone makes me like him.”
And with worries of the club being wound up or being placed into administration now gone, Mr Chapman,said: “I can sleep at night now without worrying about it.
“The way they have been playing as well is just great- now we can just think about getting promoted.”
Brother Darren, said: “At the end of the day everyone is feeling a lot better about the club.
“They played extremely well while we were struggling with what was going on off the field.
“It’s a big club and I see us moving forward now.
“We want positive things now and I think Mr Thomas is a huge positive. He seems to be in it for the long haul.
“He wants to build.
“If we can get more players and steady the ship, I can see ius being a Championship club in four or five years’ time.”
Northampton Town ran out 2-0 winners over Yeovil is a blustery game.
The off-the-pitch analysis over how Northampton Town found themselves so close to “Oblivion” is likely to continue for some time.
But for now at least, Cobblers fans can begin to focus on a new chapter in its long history.