'˜Legal issues' are still hampering the completion of Northampton Town's East Stand, says club chairman
The chairman of Northampton Town Football Club said 'legal challenges' are still causing delays to the East Stand redevelopment.
It is almost a year since Kelvin Thomas took over at Sixfields, but the club’s owner says he has been frustrated by the delays to completing the stadium works.
The East Stand currently remains a shell though close to 2,000 temporary seats were put back in there at the end of last season.
But what was described as “phase two” of the development back in February, which will involve effectively filling in the stadium frame, completing the concourses , the corporate boxes and refreshment outlets, is yet to begin.
The leases for the stadium are still tied up with the liquidators for County Developments (Northampton) Limited - the company which was intended to carry on the Sixfields development when its original contractor went into administration.
Mr Thomas said: “We would have liked to have done this much earlier but we have to look at this with a sensible head on.
“The ownership of the leases are still with the liquidator. Until that is resolve we can’t finish up.
“There are some legal challenges to work through.”
Mr Thomas said the football club, the borough council and the builders Buckingham Group are in discussions over the lease, but he did not want to put a time frame on when the leases can be recovered.
It means phase two of the development is unlikely to start until next season however.
“The funding has been there from day one,” added Mr Thomas. “But we just need to get through these legal issues first. That has always been the case.”
Back in February this year Mr Thomas conceded there were also “some legal issues that still need to be taken care of”.
In what is a complicated legal situation, Buckingham Group and Northampton Borough Council are also still large creditors of CDNL and the original development company 1st Land.
The East Stand development was meant to be funded by a £10.25 million loan from Northampton Borough Council. But builders Buckingham Group were only ever paid £441,917 for around £3.5 million worth of completed works. The firm downed tools twice over two years.