Wilder being manager is ‘a positive’ for new Cobblers chairman Thomas

ALL SMILES - new Cobblers executive chairman Kelvin Thomas and non-executive director Mike Wailing (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
ALL SMILES - new Cobblers executive chairman Kelvin Thomas and non-executive director Mike Wailing (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

New Cobblers executive chairman Kelvin Thomas admits Chris Wilder being manager at the club was ‘a positive’, but said that wasn’t a ‘deciding factor’ in him taking control at Sixfields.

The former Oxford United chairman has history with Wilder, with the pair guiding the Us from the lower reaches of the Conference to a play-off final victory and promotion to the Football League.

Thomas is happy to be teaming up with Wilder again, but insists it wouldn’t have been a deal-breaker if he was wasn’t in charge of the Cobblers.

“When you looked at the positives and negatives, Chris being here was a positive,” said Thomas, who confirmed his takeover of the Cobblers at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

“One of the things that was good about today is that I didn’t have to go through the trust issues with new people and new staff.

“It’s not even trust issues, it’s almost that period of ritual dancing and getting to know people and finding out what they are about.

“I know what Chris is about, he knows what I’m about, our bond was formed with success at Oxford and that is the important thing.

“We know we can both be successful together, which is good.

“It wasn’t necessarily a deciding factor in us taking over the football club, but it was definitely a positive.”

Whether Wilder was manager or not may not have been the deciding factor, but Thomas did admit his old pal encouraged him to look into purchasing the club in the first place.

Former chairman David Cardoza announced in June that he was selling the Cobblers to an Indian consortium, but when that deal broke down, it appears Wilder reached out to Thomas.

Asked if the pair had been in touch about the predicament at Sixfields, Thomas said: “It was pretty well known, and me and Chris talked about it at certain times.

“We probably picked up the phone again and engaged after the Indian consortium pulled out, which was quite big news I believe.

“Social media being the way it is, you are very much more connected to the world and things pop up on your Facebook feed.

“You see things, so you make a call and see where it goes.”

Thomas will be at Sixfields on Saturday for his first game at the helm as the Cobblers entertain Yeovil Town, and he admits he is looking forward to the occasion.

“I am about the football, I enjoy the football, and it’s part of what I do whenever I am over here,” said Thomas, who splits his time between the UK and USA.

“It has been mentioned a few times that I have been at Oxford games since I have been here, and it’s just because I enjoy going to football.”