Ahead of the full council meeting of West Northamptonshire Council on Monday evening to discuss the club's East Stand development plans, the Northamptonshire community have been reaching out to show their support for the proposals.
After 97.67% of supporters backed the club's plans in an online poll, ahead of the meeting messages have come from fans, stakeholders and members of the Northamptonshire community to show their support.
The Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce, the University of Northampton, Northampton Saints, Moulton College, Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, Cynthia Spencer Hospice, local schools, the Northamptonshire Football Association and Sands United are just some of the businesses, sports clubs and charities who have backed the plans, while former promotion winning managers Chris Wilder, Graham Carr and Colin Calderwood have added their support as has the club's second highest appearance maker Ian Sampson.
The below messages of support have also been received.
Derry is a loyal Cobblers fan and runs the Big City Lights Don’t Bother Me Facebook page.
“I am very pleased to support the club’s East Stand plans.
“The plans looks very exciting and the new stand will provide much improved facilities for all supporters, including a new raised viewing area for wheelchair supporters.
“I think it is very important that the stand is approved and completed as soon as possible and I cannot wait to see that new stand open. That day cannot come soon enough.
“The club is so important to me and so many people in the community, including myself, and all of my fellow supporters are desperate for that stand to be completed."
Pat is the Principle at Northampton College.
“Football clubs play a hugely important role in their communities and Northampton Town is no different. We all want the club to be successful and completing the work on the East Stand is essential to this. The stand will provide exceptional facilities for both fans and the wider community. We look forward to work progressing quickly to ensure the long-term future success of the club.”
Haydon is the Club Chaplain and Rector at Emmanuel Group of Churches in Northampton as well as being a Cobblers fan who is also a wheelchair user.
“I can still remember the joy of experiencing football from the elevated wheelchair section of the East Stand at Sixfields for the first time. Northampton Town was at the forefront of access for wheelchair using supporters for the first time and remained so for a number of years. It was a great time. Now that the extremely thorough independent process of diligent
scrutiny into the thoroughly sensible and exciting plans for the completion of the renovation has concluded I am excited to see them come to fruition. It is time that the Football Club and, by extension the town, returned to serving wheelchair using supporters to a high standard once again. The completion of the East Stand, including a reinstated elevated viewing platform will help that to take place. It is my fervent hope that the time has come for the plans to be approved and for this progress to take place. It would be a great joy to have an
unimpeded view of the whole of the pitch once again and not to be the only fans who are certain to get thoroughly soaked every time it rains in the whole of the ground once again. Northampton Town is a club which is, and continues to seek to be, at the heart of its community and the completion of this project is beyond timely in enabling it to better serve many fans, including those who are disabled. I’m excited for future generations of fans to experience the sense of wonder I did that first day at Sixfields against Barnet in 1994. It is within our grasp as a community, with your support.”#
Simon is the Managing Director at dbfb.
“dbfb have been a proud supporter of NTFC for many years and are excited to see the plans for their new East Stand and for seeing this becoming a reality. Not only will this benefit fans, it will also great facilities for corporate customers and ensure that the club can maximise every opportunity to keep re-investing back into the club as well as the great community work it does.”
Terry owns In Town Automotive.
“The club's plans for the East Stand look really good. It’s obviously been a long and thorough process and I look forward to seeing it completed as soon as possible.”
Will is a student at the University of Northampton and is a presenter on the Cobblers Vlogs YouTube channel. “Finishing the East Stand will not only complete the stadium but will provide fantastic facilities for the club and the fans to use. I am also confident that it will be used well by the community and will benefit Northamptonshire.”
Corville is a Director at Overstone Park School.
“My company, Overstone Park School has been supporting Northampton Town Football Club for many years. As Director of Overstone Park School we feel our relationship with the club has blossomed and they have our full backing. The club's plans for the east stand look incredible. It’s been a long and thorough process and as a community we should all be looking forward to seeing the stand completed as soon as possible.”
Nick is the Communications Director at Weatherbys Ltd.
“We were so impressed with the plans for the development of the East Stand when we saw images and presentations last year.
“It is clear that this project is being approached in a well-structured and thoroughly professional way and we would be entirely supportive of seeing it progress as quickly as possible.
“Weatherbys enjoyed our 250th Anniversary only two years ago and we are proud to be able to call Northamptonshire our home.
“Whilst our business has a national and international reach we are acutely the aware of the importance of having close domestic ties and we are delighted to enjoy close relationships with local businesses as prestigious as Northampton Town Football Club.”
THE CURRENT POSITION
• The club has never had direct control of the leases on the development land
• The opportunity to do so only arose when the current owners secured control of the leases through CDNL
• Following that, the owners always said any benefit from the land would benefit the club
• To confirm this, the owners transferred ownership of CDNL from themselves personally to Northampton Town Football Club
• So thanks to the actions of the owners, the club now for the first time ever, has the opportunity to benefit from any funds generated from the land.
IF THIS DEAL IS APPROVED, THEN FOLLOWING APPROVAL OF THE DEAL....
• The club will finally be able to complete the East Stand
• Any development profits will go to the club through the club's ownership of CDNL
• West Northamptonshire Council will continue to be the freeholder for the stadium site and Northampton Town Football Club will be a leaseholder. The stadium will continue to be subject to the existing Asset of Community Value
• Northampton Town Football Club will also hold the freehold for the section of the former athletics track that will initially be a fan zone, car park and can be developed in the future for the club's benefit – this is an asset of significant value that the club has never had!
Chief Executive James Whiting: “If approved, this changes the financial landscape of the club and protects the long term future so much more than we could have hoped for.
“Just by reading the bullet points you see where we could be with a finished East Stand and some freehold land.
“There is no question in my mind and that of all the staff here that this plan has the overwhelming support of so many people because it is in the best interests of the club.”