Northampton Town: Cardoza ‘Fans need to return’

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COBBLERS manager Gary Johnson will have the same budget for player wages that he finished last season with at Sixfields.

And the club has confirmed that to cover the outlay they are making for new signings in the close season, attendance figures for home games need to average around the 5,000-mark.

The playing budget will be increased from the amount Johnson’s predecessor Ian Sampson had to play with this time last year, although that spend was extended in January when Shaun Harrad and Francis Laurent were signed, and Josh Walker arrived on loan.

That number was swelled further at the back end of the season when Johnson brought in a string of loan players, and it is this figure that he will have in mind as he steps up recruitment this week.

“The budget is bigger than it was at the start of last season,” chairman David Cardoza told the Chron. “It’s about the same as what we finished at because we made a number of signings in January.

“So in fact although it has gone up from this point last year it’s pretty much in line with what it was at the end of the campaign. That’s taking into account all the loan players and everything else. We’re having a smaller squad this season so it’s probably going to be more about quality than quantity.”

Increasing the budget represents something of a sea change for Cardoza, who for the past 18 months has adopted a more frugal approach to spending as he looked to minimise losses in the wake of ongoing delays to the stadium redevelopment.

But it was a policy that almost proved costly last season, as a young squad struggled at the wrong end of the table and very nearly lost their Football League status.

The memories of that are still fresh in the mind of Cardoza, who is adamant a similar situation will never be allowed to develop.

“It’s important for people to know that when you start spending more money on the team it’s important to balance that out with better gates,” he said.

“I’d be very hopeful that we’d get more people in next season, there’s no reason