EXCLUSIVE: Northampton Borough Council call in independent expert in bid to stop Northampton Town going into liquidation

The unfinished East Stand at Sixfields Stadium
The unfinished East Stand at Sixfields Stadium
  • Northampton Borough Council agree with Northampton Town chairman to call in independent expert to assess situation
  • David Cardoza claimed the borough council had not given “enough encouragement” to potential buyers
  • Northampton Borough Council dismissed claims and said no firm proposals had been made since Buckingham Group stopped working on stand
  • Council spokesperson said previous suggestions on how to resolve the club’s situation have not been acted upon

An independent review of how the future of Northampton Town can be secured will be carried out by an expert appointed by the borough council, the Chron can reveal.

It is understood that proposal was put to chairman David Cardoza at a meeting this afternoon with the borough in an urgent move to stop the club going into liquidation as a result of a winding up petition against the club for unpaid tax.

Cobblers chairman David Cardoza

Cobblers chairman David Cardoza

Earlier today, Mr Cardoza’s company, County Developments (Northampton) Ltd (CDNL) which he owns with his father, was wound up after a High Court hearing. The firm had been taken to court over outstanding payments totalling near £3 million to Buckingham Group in connection with the building of the East Stand at Sixfields.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Cardoza criticised the borough council, claiming it was holding back a deal to sell the club and develop the surrounding land. Those claims were dismissed by the borough council.

Mr Cardoza said: “We did not defend the winding up petition as it is the best way forward to get a conclusion.

“During the last few months we have been frustrated by Northampton Borough Council to get a deal done to sell the club.

“We were waiting for a Section 106 agreement to be signed and get a development done on the land surrounding Sixfields and clear up the outstanding issues, but this has not been signed by the borough council,” he claimed.

Mr Cardoza added: “Buckingham Group have been fantastic during this and supportive as they can.

“I have introduced credible developers to the council to develop the land and to buy the club. They both don’t feel they have been given enough encouragement from the council in trying to get a deal done to solve the whole issue,” he added.

Yesterday, it was understood that former Oxford United chairman, Kelvin Thomas, was linked the deal. Today, Mr Cardoza confirmed to the Chron that Henley Homes was also one of the potential developers of the site.

A statement released by the borough council following inquiries by the Chronicle & Echo said: “NBC is not to blame for any deal not happening. At no point in the last five months, since The Buckingham Group stopped work on the stand, has any firm proposal been made to the council. The council has suggested how to resolve matters but these have not been acted upon.

“The Section 106 agreement relates to obligations CDNL would have had to meet if the development went ahead. However CDNL failed to satisfy the requirements of the land transfer agreement and therefore no such agreement could be signed.

“The council has met a number of people introduced by Mr Cardoza and has worked positively with them.

“We have met with them again today and we are open to further meetings with them.

“We have been clear to everyone we have met, that any proposals would have to protect the public purse. We have a responsibility to the taxpayer and can accept no less.

“None of the people we have met have, as yet, made any firm proposals and no-one has been able to agree a deal with Mr Cardoza.

“Now that CDNL has been wound up we have offered meetings to people who have been unable to agree a deal with CDNL and we will be meeting these parties and others very soon.

“Time is now short to ensure that NTFC is not liquidated on November 16.

“We put a proposal to Mr Cardoza in a meeting yesterday as to how NTFC and NBC work together to do that and as a result, he has agreed this afternoon (Thursday) that we can appoint an expert to carry out an independent review of the club’s current situation, and how its future can be secured,” the statement said.