Loan agreement between borough council and Northampton Town should be published, says Labour group

Labour group leader Councillor Danielle Stone says Cobblers fans deserve an answer as to how a �10.25 million loan to the club did not result in a completed stadium.

Labour group leader Councillor Danielle Stone says Cobblers fans deserve an answer as to how a �10.25 million loan to the club did not result in a completed stadium.

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Calls are being made for Northampton Borough Council to publish the loan agreement it made with Cobblers for the redevelopment of Sixfields - as demand for a public inquiry intensifies.

The Labour group on Northampton Borough Council says the authority should make the agreement available to view by members of the public as it says taxpayers are “becoming ever more frustrated with the lack of information.”

The unfinished East Stand at Sixfields Stadium

The unfinished East Stand at Sixfields Stadium

The opposition party on the council is making the demand as it steps up calls for auditors KPMG to conduct a full inquiry into the loan agreement to the football club and what went wrong.

Councillor Danielle Stone (Lab, Castle), leader of the Labour group, said: “To make things more transparent I think the Loan Agreement should now be published immediately to the general public.

“From what I have heard, it does say in the loan agreement that all money borrowed must be used on the redevelopment and improvement of Sixfields Stadium.

“Also in the loan agreement we understand that there is a timescale for draw down requests such as 20 percent of the loan could be drawn down immediately, 20 percent after granting planning permission, 20 percent after completion of some of the work and so on.

“I don’t know if this has been followed, but it is something that an independent inquiry must investigate.”

Councillor Stone added that she believed that at all future negotiations between the borough council, Cobblers and stadium builders Buckingham Group, there should be a representative of the club’s supporters trust and a member of NTFC staff “at the top table”.

When previously asked whether it was the council’s view that the loan agreement had been breached, a spokesperson responded: “The council has made proper enquiries as to the use of the funds loaned to the football club, but cannot say that it has been given a full and complete account.

“As we have stated, we are taking legal advice about the current position.”