Northampton Town chief executive blew the whistle on his former bosses, court judgement reveals

Northampton Town's chief executive turned 'whistle blower' against the club's former directors, court papers have revealed.

Friday, 25th January 2019, 2:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:11 pm
Cobblers chief executive James Whiting turned whistleblower against the Cardozas.

Yesterday, Judge Simon Barker QC ordered previous Cobblers owner Anthony Cardoza to pay Northampton Borough Council back £2.1 million after finding that the money should have been used on the Sixfields development.

The authority loaned the club £10.25 million to enhance the Cobblers ground and surrounding land between 2013 and 2014, but during that time a series of 'circular' payments received by the former stockbroker was ruled to have come indirectly from that loan.

His son, previous chairman David Cardoza, was also ordered to pay back the sum of works completed on his house in Church Brampton on the basis that too was paid for indirectly by the loan money.

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During the hearing last July, the Cardoza's barrister Mohammed Zaman criticised the council for not calling James Whiting, the Cobblers chief executive, to act as a witness.

Mr Whiting was privy to a 'significant body of email correspondence' directly related to the case.

During the trial, the council barrister James Morgan QC said the chief executive would often do the 'dirty work' for the Cardozas during 2013 and 2014.

But the court papers have revealed that Mr Whiting - once relied on by David Cardoza as an executive manager - became a 'whistleblower' from November 2015 and passed information about the case over to the borough.

While judge barker QC acknowledged that the chief executive 'may well have been a useful witness' he also sought to credit his role in the proceedings.

He said: "My view of James Whiting's position at NTFC during the period that NTFC was controlled by Anthony and David Cardoza, based on the evidence to which I have been referred and have heard, is that James Whiting, was an employee if NTFC, was a manager and was subservient, answerable to and did the bidding of David Cardoza.

"He was not in a position to make decisions about the management and affairs of NTFC."

During the court case, the conduct of another witness, former borough council chief finance officer Glenn Hammons, was called into question, having received a set of Tottenham Hostpurs tickets from the businessman in charge of 1st Land, Howard Grossman.

The bulk of the council loan money was paid into the development firm between 2013 and 2014.

The tickets, the court heard, were accepted shortly after the loan agreement had been signed in 2013. Mr Hammons was also invited to a complimentary meal before the match, but did not declare the hospitallity.

Mr Barker QC said: "In my view, the provision of hospitality says more about the mindset of those interested in securing borrowing than its non-disclosure does about Glenn Hammons as a responsible officer of NBC and a reliable witness."