EXCLUSIVE: Auditors given green light to resume second Sixfields loan probe

KPMG has been given the go-ahead to resume its probe into the 10.2m Sixfields loan.
KPMG has been given the go-ahead to resume its probe into the 10.2m Sixfields loan.

Auditors who put their probe into the £10.2 million loan Cobblers loan on hold to allow for a police investigation to continue have been given the green light to resume.

It has now been a year since KPMG said it was putting its report into the Sixfields dealings on hold so as not to impinge on the investigation by Northamptonshire Police.

Former borough council chief executive David Kennedy was heavily criticised in the previous audit by Pwc.

Former borough council chief executive David Kennedy was heavily criticised in the previous audit by Pwc.

In 2013 Northampton Borough Council agreed to loan the Cobbers up to £12 million to develop the stadium and enable the building of a hotel next to the ground.

The Chronicle and Echo now understands KPMG has been given the go-ahead to resume its investigation.

The implications for the ongoing police investigation into "financial irregularities" around the failed stadium development are unclear at this moment.

However, a Northamptonshire Police spokesman said; “While KPMG have a different remit to that of the police investigation, many of their areas of interest are broadly similar. Northamptonshire Police, therefore, requested that aspects of the police evidence-gathering take precedence.

Former Cobblers chairman David Cardoza.

Former Cobblers chairman David Cardoza.

“It was not the intention of our investigation to delay the audit work unnecessarily and those particular areas of evidence-gathering have progressed sufficiently to allow the KPMG work to continue.

“While the investigation is still ongoing we will not comment on the nature of the work undertaken, but we are grateful for the co-operation of KPMG in this matter.”

KPMG would not issue any further comment on the matter.

A spokeswoman for the international firm, said: “As we have not yet completed the review, we are unable to comment further at this stage, however, we will report the findings in due course.”

Last December, auditors Pricewaterhousecooper published a separate report into the loan dealings.

Among a catalogue of failings, it found the authority’s cabinet was asked to approve the loan weeks before independent legal advice was sought from experts; checks on the progress of the stadium involved little more than a drive past in a car and officers were pressured to rush through paperwork for the loan by council management.

So far no one has been charged with any crime in relation to the police investigation.

However, last month the force confirmed seven people have been arrested so far and a further nine interviewed under caution.