Chairman Kelvin Thomas has spoken of his pride at the Cobblers’ ‘amazing’ feat of securing promotion from Sky Bet League Two with five games to spare.
Thomas has been at the held at Sixfields since the end of November, and in that time has seen the Cobblers lose just once in the league, to Portsmouth way back on December 19.
There are a lot of people that have done a lot of hard work in all of this, and I am just really pleased for everyone. This football club deserves this, there is no two ways about itCobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas
Chris Wilder’s team secured a top three place and promotion on Saturday with a 2-2 draw against Bristol Rovers at Sixfields, stretching their unbeaten run to 19 games.
That result, coupled with Plymouth Argyle’s 2-1 home defeat against AFC Wimbledon, ensured Northampton were promoted after 41 games of the season, with one more win now needed to seal the title.
“It is a very proud day for me, and the football club and we are just so happy we are over that line,” said Thomas.
“It has been amazing, and we are the first club promoted in the Football League.
“It feels like getting over the line took a while, but there are still five games to go and it is wonderful. We just need to turn that P into a C now, because the lads deserve it.”
The Cobblers travel to Exeter on Saturday looking for the win that will secure the championship, and Thomas is desperate for that to happen so that the team can be presented with the trophy in front of their home supporters when Luton come to town on April 30.
“It would be nice for that to happen,” admitted Thomas. “It would be fantastic for the supporters who have supported us through the darker days of this season.
“Now we just have to enjoy it, and I think we will relax a bit more now that we are promoted and go on from there.”
The takeover of the club by Thomas and his associates from previous chairman David Cardoza back on November 26 was obviously the crucial moment in a campaign that has ended in promotion glory, but it could have ended with the Cobblers ceasing to exist thanks to those ‘darker days’ Thomas refers to.
The financial problems the club suffered in the autumn and early winter have been well documented, and although Thomas doesn’t want to dwell on what happened in the past, he says Saturday’s promotion was not only a reward for the management and players, but everybody involved at the club.
“When I took over we talked about the potential for promotion, but it probably wasn’t paramount in our mind, we had to deal with the issues we were faced with,” said Thomas, whose first task was to pay of an unpaid six-figure tax bill, and also pay the staff at Sixfields who had gone two months without wages.
“There are a lot of people that have done a lot of hard work in all of this, and I am just really pleased for everyone. This football club deserves this, there is no two ways about it.”