External auditors still looking into botched £10.2m loan to the Cobblers

Auditors are still looking into how Northampton Borough Council handled its botched £12million loan to Northampton Town Football Club.

Wednesday, 28th November 2018, 1:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 10:00 pm
The East Stand at Sixfields is still yet to be completed

The authority has spent £950,000 on trying to recover the lost monies, the alleged misappropriation of which is currently under investigation by the police.

The council is also currently waiting for a judge’s verdict on a civil court case it brought against former owners David and Tony Cardoza, and David’s wife Christina, back in July. A verdict was expected to be made at the end of September, but is still outstanding.

External auditor KPMG has previously said it had come to the conclusion that the ‘accountability and decision-making process was not sufficiently robust’ when the loan was handed over in instalments to the Cobblers.

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Speaking to the council’s audit committee at The Guildhall, on Monday evening (November 26), director Andrew Cardoza - of no relation to the former football club chairman - told councillors that he ‘still hadn’t finished’ his work looking into the loan.

In the 2016/17 audit, of which the draft accounts have still yet to be signed, KPMG made recommendations regarding the controls and processes for issuing loans, as it had found there was ‘no formalised system of recording or documenting the due diligence process or loan approval process’.

The work by KMPG for the 17/18 report will focus on the ‘value for money’ risks associated with the additional funds being spent on recovering the loan.

It will investigate whether the decision-making in the pursuing of the loan was ‘informed’, and whether it was a ‘sustainable resource deployment’.

This week marks three years since David Cardoza sold the club to Kelvin Thomas, and with the council agreeing to take on the recovery of the loan.

The East Stand at Sixfields, which was in the process of being redeveloped, still stands half completed more than four years on from construction work starting.