Northampton Town fans’ frustration is boiling over because they have “hit a wall of silence” over the takeover bid, claims the borough council’s opposition leader.
Last night details emerged of a planned protest for this Saturday’s game between Cobblers and Oxford United at Sixfields, in which fans are due to hold up question mark and banners with the Twitter hashtag #wewantanswers.
Northampton Town Football Club Supporter’s Trust has already given the protest its backing and now Councillor Danielle Stone (Lab, Castle) who is the Labour leader on Northampton Borough Council, says she too understands the frustrations of supporters.
She said: “My biggest concern at the moment is the sheer lack of transparency about the whole thing.
“People are patiently seeking answers but they hit a wall of silence. I totally understand the deep frustration of fans.”
It has been more than six weeks since Northampton Borough Council had announced its leadership had a ‘positive and constructive’ meeting with representatives from the Indian consortium who are in the process of taking over the controlling share of the club.
But Councillor Stone fears that, even when the identity of the buyers is eventually revealed, it will be a long time before the stalled East Stand development is completed.
“I’m sure sooner or later we will find out who this Indian Consortium actually is but I fear that won’t be the end of the saga,” she added.
“It might be some time before the new owners come up their own detailed plans and actually deliver them. I am beginning to worry this will now drag on for some time and we will only get information drip by drip.”
The East Stand was initially due to be open in time for the 2014/15 season, but he work has been beset by delays.
Councillor Stone said: “However, since then they have seen Northampton Saints build their new stadium stand on schedule without any problems but work at NTFC has faced delay and delay. You can understand why many Cobblers fans feel disappointed.”
Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Councillor Mary Markham (Con, Park), says she also understands the frustrations of fans.
She said: “Northampton Borough Council owns the stadium at Sixfields and the land on which it sits.
“We made a £10.25million loan to the football club to support them in developing a facility that would be an asset to Northampton and would attract further investment to the town.
“We want to see the development moving forward and the loan repaid to us in accordance with the contract.
“The supporters’ frustrations are understandable, but the questions they are asking need to be answered by the Club’s Chairman, David Cardoza.”