Four Northampton-based businessmen, including former Cobblers chairman Barry Stonhill, have revealed they have plans to step in to save Northampton Town from going into administration.
Stonhill, David Jackson, Brian Binley and Barry Hancock issued a statement this evening stating they had “looked on in dismay” at what has been happening at Sixfields in recent months.
Their statement came after another day passed without a takeover deal being signed. After yesterday’s announcement by Kelvin Thomas that his deal was “hanging by a thread” and news that chairman David Cardoza was talking to other interested parties, no clear resolution was in sight.
Next Friday Northampton Town faces the prospect of going into administration at a High Court hearing and then on Monday, the HMRC is bringing up a winding-up petition against the club.
Supporters and staff at the club are doing everything they can to avoid that happening.
Yesterday, Mr Cardoza, speaking to the Chron, made reference to a group of local businessmen that “many fans would know”.
Tonight, the identity of those businessmen was revealed.
Stonhill is a successful estate agent and was a director at the Cobblers from 1992. He was chairman of the club when it was sold to the Cardoza consortium back in December 2002, before stepping down from the board the following year.
Jackson was a director at Sixfields until June this year, when he resigned. He is a managing director at Jackson Grundy Estate Agents, and was invited on to the board by Cardoza in 2010 after his Northampton company had been the main club sponsors
Like Stonhill, Hancock has been a director at the Cobblers since 1992, and is still on the board of the club.
He is one of only three current directors, the others being David and Tony Cardoza.
Binley, a former Conservative MP for Northampton South, is a long-time Cobblers supporter.
The group issued the following statement: “As most Cobblers fans know, over the years we have continued to support the club and have looked on in dismay as to what has been happening at Sixfields in recent months. To date we have remained silent but following recent events we now feel we have to act positively to try to save the club from administration or even extinction.
“Discussions between ourselves and David Cardoza have taken place over the last couple of days and we are confident a deal can be completed quickly with his cooperation, particularly if the deal with Kelvin Thomas isn’t to proceed. We have spoken to Northampton Borough Council and believe we have their support on our rescue plan that prioritises the saving of the football club.
“We are fully aware of the funds required to keep the club alive and intend working with the Supporters Trust, sponsors, season ticket holders and anyone else who wants to help secure the future of the club.
“As a group we know how the club functions and have the professional expertise to ensure firstly the survival of the club and secondly to try to put the club on a sound financial basis. We anticipate working closely with Northampton Borough Council to resolve the debt issue and other complications created by the shenanigans of the last 12 months or so.
“It is our intention to keep people informed as to the progress of discussions on all fronts both now and - if successful in our negotiations with David Cardoza - in the future.
“Someone needs to get hold of the situation now and if we are successful in acquiring the club hope both Cobblers supporters and the town as a whole rally round and ensure Northampton Town Football Club is here in another 100 years. Remember 42,000 fans at Wembley!!”