Cobblers supporters give resounding backing for East Stand plans at Sixfields
The Cobblers have received a resounding thumbs-up from their fanbase for the club's published plans for the redevelopment of the East Stand at Sixfields Stadium.
The club conducted a simple online 'yes or no' poll last week where supporters were asked if they did or did not back the proposed plans for the East Stand, which were unveiled in the summer.
Under the plans, the existing structure of the stand would be 'enhanced', and include a string of pitch-facing hospitality boxes, a new viewing platform for disabled supporters, as well as further commercial and hospitality areas.
On completion, the capacity of the stadium would rise to more than 8,000, with plans in place to expand both the north and south stands if a further increase in capacity were ever required.
A total of 2,442 supporters replied to the poll, with 2,385 of them backing the club's plans, and just 57 opposing, and that works out as a whopping 97.6 per cent of fans who took part backing the club's plans
Chairman Kelvin Thomas said: "I would like to thank everyone who took part in the poll and it is very pleasing to see that the vast majority of people support the plans.
"The supporters of Northampton Town have seen the information, came and spoke to us at the open house, and have now shown their public support for the club's plans by a huge majority.
"The results back up what we as a club have seen consistently when we have gained feedback from our supporters.
"They back the plans and they understand that it is in the club's best interests that matters move forward as soon as possible.
"This is an overwhelming result from a big cross section of the club's support and it is a clear mandate.”
The club announced earlier this month that it had come to an agreement with the West Northamptonshire Council with regards to the land that adjoins the stadium, and that deal had originally been expected to be signed off at a full council meeting next week.
But there has been a delay in the council process, meaning there is as yet no timeframe for when any work would be able to start.
That is a frustration, but Tom Cliffe, the democratically elected supporters representative on the club's board of directors, said: "I have now seen how hard the club has been working to move things forward and the club has done as much as it can by getting an agreed deal.
"I have spoken to so many fans since being elected and also spoken to councillors and other stakeholders and this result underlines the strength of feeling there is.
"It is clear the position the fanbase has, especially now they have been asked what they think.
"Matters are now in the hands of the council and their processes, but the club and Northampton Town supporters are keen for this to be concluded as soon as possible."
The Cobblers now must wait for the council process before being able to start any sort of work on the redevelopment.
A spokesman for WNC confirmed last week that the meeting which could have cleared the way for the deal with the club to be ratified had been cancelled.
“The Sixfields site has a number of complicated factors, which mean the council needs further legal and commercial advice to ensure it secures the best deal available," read the statement.
"Whilst the council is keen to conclude this matter, it will take whatever time is required to ensure it takes a fully informed decision.
“The proposed full council meeting was pencilled in for December 1 to allow for a full discussion, but was cancelled once it was clear it would not have all the information needed for an informed debate.”
No date for a rearranged meeting has yet been announced.
The east stand has stood as a half-finished shell since the summer of 2015 when work on the original development was halted..