BREAKING NEWS: Former Northampton Town chairman David Cardoza says council case against him is "a waste of money" after judge's ruling
Former Cobblers chairman David Cardoza has lashed out at Northampton Borough Council in his first statement in 18 months following a decision by a High Court judge on the authority's legal action against him.
The former owner has issued a statement through his lawyers - Mischon De Reya - after a High Court judge ruled the council would have to take him to trial if it wants to claim back a sum of Â£180,000 Mr Cardoza paid himself as a salary between January 2015 and August 2015.
The council was asking a judge to make a decision in their favour in their case against Mr Cardoza without the need to argue it in a courtroom. The judge has rejected that application, stating that Mr Cardoza had grounds to defend the claims made by the council and it should go to trial. The judge has not, however, issued a final ruling on claims by either party.
Mr Cardoza said: "In an ongoing attempt to recover losses, the council continues to incur hundreds of thousands of pounds in costs pursuing proceedings that are destined to fail.
Mr Cardoza's case was that even if the council was successful in its claim, "the football club would then be indebted to me for the same amount, which as the Judge described, raised 'questions of pointlessness and circuity of action'. The council will also be required to pay my legal fees for defending the application."
A spokesman for Northampton Borough Council said: “We had hoped for a summary judgement from the court as this is a quick decision that would avoid further cost to the taxpayer as we try to recover public money. We accept the court’s decision however, that this matter must now go to trial."
Northampton Borough Council issued the Cardozas with legal proceedings on April 13, 2016, around five months after the authority took on all the football club's debts as part of the handover to current chairman Kelvin Thomas.
Court papers have revealed the council is pursuing Anthony Cardoza for Â£2.05 million he received from 1st Land and any another company associated with developer Howard Grossman in 2014.
It also sought recompense for Â£1.3 million the club was said to have made to David Cardoza throughout 2014 and 2015.
As part of that Â£1.3 million the papers show that then club chairman David Cardoza took what he says was a salary between January 2015 and August 2015 that year.
The council says he accepted payments from the club, knowing the club was all but insolvent.
But according to the former owner this was to reduce the amount already owed to him by the football club.
The Cardozas claim to have been owed Â£5.2 million by Northampton Town by the time they handed the club over to Kelvin Thomas's consortium for Â£1 in November 2015.
The papers claim David Cardoza was “effectively foregoing [his] salary, and instead being repaid the monies [he was] owed by the club in respect of [his] directors’ loan account."
In the statement issued today, Mr Cardoza went on to say: "I have always acted with honesty and integrity. The judge acknowledged that the funds I provided to the football club far exceed the amount the council has sought to claim from me. Furthermore, my father and I waived debts running into millions of pounds when we sold our shares in the football club."
Effectively the borough council will now to take David Cardoza to a trial if they want to claim back the Â£180,000 salary the former chairman was paid in 2015.
The council had sought a "summary judgement" on the basis that any defence he made would fail, but the judge felt there were sufficient grounds for David Cardoza to challenge the council's claim.
Mr Cardoza went on to say that the council, by continuing with its legal case,would not be serving the "interests of Northampton as a whole".
He added: "I will continue to vigorously defend these proceedings in the knowledge that I acted honestly and reasonably in my role as chairman."
Mr Cardoza's statement was issued by legal firm Mischon De Reya, which represented Diana Princess of Wales when she divorced the Prince of Wales in 1996.