A fighting fund raised by Northampton Town fans will not be spent on a new training ground as some had hoped after the supporters’ trust opted to keep most in the bank in case of emergency.
Northampton Town Football Club Supporters’ Trust raised £37,000 during October and November last year, when it looked as if Cobblers could go into liquidation due to spiralling debts.
The trust held a consultation asking fans how they would want it to be spent over Christmas and the New year. Around 45 percent of fans said the money should be kept as a “rainy day fund” and this afternoon the trust board has announced it plans to set aside most of the £37,000 for that purpose.
However it says £5,000 will be ring-fenced to donate to the next supporters’ trust of a football club that finds itself in crisis
Also £1,000 will be donated to a charity of the choice of the Sky Blues Trust – repaying the generosity of Coventry City fans who helped out with a bucket collection on November 7.
A spokesman for the trust said: “Although the funds raised may not be enough to pay off any large HMRC bills run up by any future owners of the football club, it could help the trust as it has this time: with any legal bills for expert advice, supporting unpaid staff, ensuring fixtures are fulfilled and allowing us to act quickly and efficiently.”
The trust already loaned £10,000 to the football club as a hardship fund in November for members of staff who had not been paid for two months.
An offer was also made to the club for the trust to pay for the team coach for the away game at Crawley Town in November, an offer the club took up.
The supporters’ trust, the first of its kind, was formed in 1992 as a result of a financial crisis at the club. Since then The Cobblers have been on the brink of collapse twice more.
The trust says this is “not a situation that can ever be ruled out again.”
But 39 per cent of fans in the consultation hoped to see funds used towards either the fans’ village or a training ground.
Following conversations with the chairman, the trust now says it is “very unlikely that any funds will be invested in a training ground scheme.”
However, it did not rule out some form of investment in a fans’ village in the future.
Around £3,225 of the online donations were marked from fans of other clubs, although more may have donated anonymously.
Any payments will only be made to other trusts who are affiliated to Supporters Direct, “have been set up in a democratic manner and have a set of rules which govern their business.”
The trust spokesman added: “Making a decision on this has been an incredibly tough process, with many different viewpoints to consider.
“We hope supporters will understand and appreciate the thought process behind our decisions, and we would like to once again thank everyone who submitted their views.”
Those who have any comments on the decision can contact the trust at firstname.lastname@example.org.