New Cobblers stadium sponsor wants to have positive impact on Northamptonshire jobs market and admits fans will still call it Sixfields

PTS Training Academy chair Matt Joyce welcomes me into his office with a firm handshake and a friendly smile.

Friday, 15th June 2018, 4:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:57 pm
Matt Joyce (left) pictured at the announcement of Sixfields Stadium's renaming. Picture: Pete Norton

We talk for around an hour about his company, how it operates and its recent stadium naming rights deal which will see the Cobblers' home ground renamed the PTS Academy Stadium for the next five years.

When the deal was announced the reaction from fans was varied, and Matt admitted that it was unlikely supporters would call the stadium by its new name.

"All publicity is good publicity even if there's an argument about it always being Sixfields," said Matt.

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"Hopefully we live and die by what we do and people attribute what we're doing in a positive way."

"We knew it was all going to kick off on social media and that's kind of what you want really," he added.

"If it's an argument to be had then great, at least we're there to be argued about."

Matt started PTS Training Academy with Byron Thomas originally to train people in personal track safety, hence the name.

From there they moved into stewarding, forklift training, childcare, degree level engineering and more.

Through the sponsorship deal, PTS are hoping to gain more recognition in the county to help get Northamptonshire people into work or help them add to their skillset.

"I'm hoping in a couple of years if you say PTS Academy anywhere in Northampton people will have a positive reaction. I hope people don't look at it as a gimmick, it is genuinely to get our names out there," said Matt.

"It's jobs for people locally. Northampton Town just mentioned they could do with another 50 stewards across the season and we've spoken to Silverstone and Towcester Racecourse to ask them if we train them up would they have use for them.

"It might not be full-time work but they get money and they'd be working."

Other projects in the pipeline include a motorsport specific programme which has seen a PTS Academy employee write a completely bespoke introduction to motorsport and rally driving course from level one through to management level.

The company is based in Scirocco Close, in Moulton Park, close to the University of Northampton who they already have a successful relationship.

Typically, PTS Training Academy approach companies looking to, for example, upskill their staff. They will tell them how much Government funding is available to pay for the training, PTS take 10 per cent for business sustainability, and if there's any money left over they will work with their client to spend it on additional training for the staff.

As for matters on the pitch, Matt is uncertain what effect the Cobblers dropping down to League Two will have on things.

"I don't know if relegation has been a good or bad thing for us," he said.

"The players have been really supportive. they've said it's great that somebody is putting money into the club to help with this and that and attract new interest."