Thomas hails 'significant' moment and outlines the next steps after East Stand deal is approved

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'It's not about owners or individuals, it's about the best interests of the football club and the whole deal was structured around that.'

Delighted chairman Kelvin Thomas says people 'cannot underestimate' how important it was for Cobblers' land deal with West Northamptonshire Council to be voted through by cabinet this week.

The decision was initially deferred after being discussed at a full council meeting last month but on Tuesday the WNC Cabinet ratified the deal, paving the way for work to restart on the East Stand.

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But first legal papers will need to be drawn up and signed, a process that could take up to eight weeks, and there is also the matter of the Asset of Community Value which is held by the Supporters' Trust and relates to the disused athletics track behind the East Stand.

Kelvin Thomas.Kelvin Thomas.
Kelvin Thomas.

Thomas said: "It's been a long time coming but this is really good news because it's a significant hurdle cleared and a real positive step for the football club.

"It's massive for the club, you cannot underestimate how important it is. A lot of people, both at the club and the council, have worked incredibly hard to ensure this has been a very robust and transparent process.

"A lot has been said and we have gone through quite a bit of pain as a club and as individuals but it was nice to see Cllr Sally Beardsworth, the Lib Dem leader, at the meeting and actually praise a Conservative council for going through with such a thorough and transparent process.

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"That was important because it would be easy to score political points but we have been through a full council meeting which was not something that they needed to do.

"It's something we have been trying to do for a long time and some people didn't want it to happen but we have stayed professional, kept going and it's just so important for the club.

"It's not about owners or individuals, it's about the best interests of the football club and the whole deal was structured around that."

On the next steps, Thomas explained: "It's important now that we don't get carried away. We want to get it done as quickly as possible and I have already spoken to Buckingham to set up a meeting but we can't rush it.

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"Tuesday was a positive step and now it's the legal process which will take six to eight weeks and then the ACV process could take up to six months but that's not something we can control.

"We have to be careful not to raise expectations but we want to get it done as efficiently as possible and will work diligently on it.

"I think the majority of fans trust us enough now to know that what we have done is in the best interests of the club. We have worked incredibly hard and people have seen some of these delays are not necessarily our fault.

"It's just part of the process and there is that trust there that we will get on with it."

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