Sixfields Stadium land deal: Everything you need to know and how it affects Northampton Town Football Club

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Cobblers fans get one step closer to a fully refurbished East Stand

Northampton Town can finally purchase the Sixfields Stadium land from West Northamptonshire Council after a hard-fought legal battle in the High Court.

Cobblers enjoyed a fruitful season on and off the pitch, culminating in promotion to League One, and now, the chance to own their stadium land and finish off the much-anticipated building work on the East Stand.

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Here’s everything you need to know about the council’s legal dispute with rival bidders…

The Sixfields land deal saga has been ongoing for years.The Sixfields land deal saga has been ongoing for years.
The Sixfields land deal saga has been ongoing for years.

The original deal

In March 2022, an agreement was made between West Northamptonshire Council and County Developments Northampton Ltd (a company owned by Northampton Town Football Club).

Who were the rival bidders?

Cildara Holdings Group Ltd, a Warwickshire based property developer, also wanted to bid for the land.

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They launched an appeal to the high court on the grounds that the deal between the football club and the council did not best suit the taxpayer’s interests.

Action in the Civil Court

Civil court action began in March 2023.

The claimant, Cildara, argued there was procedural unfairness, predetermination, failure to make proper inquiry, failure to reach the best price, irrationality and failure to give reasons in the deal.

These arguments were rejected by Mrs Justice Karen Steyn.

Charles Commins, 38, contributor to ‘All Cobblers to me’ podcast and lifelong Northampton Town fan described the process as “frustrating”.

Problems with the East Stand

The complicated saga of the unfinished East Stand worked its way into the debate, with both sides agreeing to finish it as a priority.

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The building of the East Stand was abandoned in 2014 after a £10.5 million loan to the club for the construction went missing.

If the East Stand work is not completed within five years, the offer from County Developments Northampton Ltd gives the council the chance to buy back the land for £1.

Mr Commins said: “From the fans perspective, all it was was just ‘oh for goodness sake, it’s another thing that’s delaying the process of us getting what we want’ which is a finished, redeveloped stand.

“It’s not the nicest place to sit if it is raining for example. It is basically the shell of what will hopefully become the finished article.”

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The current situation

After the High Court ruled in favour of the deal between the council and the club, the sale of the Sixfields Stadium land is expected to be made and there is a fresh focus on the Building of the East Stand.

Mr Commins said: “The vast majority of fans are with the club, they see what the owners are saying and they trust the owners that they are going to carry out the redevelopment of the stand.”