The impending Cobblers buyout has left fans with a host of unanswered questions, with many desperate to know who the potential buyers are and whether the borough council’s £12 million loan is going to see a multi-million pound
stadium built anytime soon.
This week, we have put some of those questions to chairman David Cardoza about the stadium development and the buyout, though he said the identity of the Indian consortium will remain a mystery for now.
Chron: Companies House shows that 1st Land, (the company set up to oversee the new East Stand development), folded in February and was taken over by administrators. Its top creditor was Buckinghams, the sub-contractors completing the work, which it owed more than £2 million. Why did the company fold?
Mr Cardoza: “1st Land is nothing to do with the club, they were the company with whom we held a contract to complete the stadium works. The company folded after a legal, contractual dispute.”
Chron: The borough council say they are still waiting to hold talks with the consortium about the loan, why the delay?
Mr Cardoza: “We held a meeting with the council last week, we are up to date on repayments with the loan. The consortium will be writing to Northampton Borough Council, ahead of a formal meeting, to introduce themselves.”
Chron: Can we say anything about the ambitions of the new consortium?
Mr Cardoza: “They are keen on taking the club forward – let’s avoid any bold statements about where and when – but they want the club to be a success and have very ambitious plans. I wouldn’t be selling to them if I didn’t think
they could take the club forward.”
Chron: What assurances can you give the fans that the stadium will be finished?
“Work has stopped on the East Stand because if or when the takeover is completed the new owners will want to take a fresh approach. Therefore work has stopped until new plans have been drawn up with Buckinghams but the potential new owners have ambitious plans to improve facilities and increase capacity.”
Chron: And what assurance can we give that the housing development will be finished and the borough council loan repaid?
Mr Cardoza: “A majority of the loan needs to be paid back by 2019, we intend to have it paid back well in advance of that with all the stadium works complete. We are up to date on repayments, all payments due to date have been made.”
This week Northampton Borough Council confirmed it was still keen to open talks with the potential new buyers. A spokesperson for the authority, said: “We remain in communication with the football club and are still seeking an early meeting with the consortium.”
Leader of the Labour opposition, Councillor Danielle Stone, (Lab, Castle) said: “My biggest concern is whether we get the promised development any time soon and the deep frustrations of fans who thought the issue of getting a bigger and better stadium was finally resolved.”