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Club statement ahead of Monday's council cabinet meeting

28 February 2022

Tonight, is a very important night for Northampton Town Football Club when West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet meet to discuss the Sixfields Development proposal.

Chairman Kelvin Thomas said: “It has been a week since the public full council meeting and whilst we remain disappointed by some of the misinformation spoken on that night and even since, we understand it was part of the process, and we have focused our efforts on trying to get to a positive conclusion which can benefit everyone.

“It is rather symbolic that this decision is being made in the week of our 125th anniversary celebration match on Saturday. For our part we feel we have listened to Councillors, officers, supporters and stakeholders and since Monday we have significantly improved our offer to try and reach an agreed position as the risk of not reaching a deal or a further delay are just too great for the club.

Some of the highlights of the club’s improved offer include;

• The club have agreed to match Cilldara’s capital payment of £2.05m
• The whole athletics track transfers to NTFC following completion
• If there is ever any development on any part of the athletics track, NTFC will agree it can only be used for the benefit of NTFC or the community
• NTFC is still required to complete the East Stand
• An overage provision to WNC on a sale of the CDNL land

The Chairman continued : “The football club feels that the original agreed and officer recommended deal is still the club’s preferred option and the club remains happy to proceed on this basis, however the club has listened and gone to great lengths to put forward an improved offer which more than satisfies all of the Council’s stated objectives.

“We feel by improving the offer we have taken the pressure off the decision for the Cabinet and we also take away the risk of losing the deal to outside developers, or it being delayed further. Those risks are just too great for the club, our supporters, and the Northamptonshire community whom we work closely with. The club’s offer is now far superior to any other offer, not just in financial terms, but also in reducing the risk of lengthy and expensive litigation and of course all the community benefits that come with it. This really is a win-win for the club and the Council.

“The club has been negotiating in good faith with WNC and before them NBC against an agreed set of principles which have now been fully honoured. The club has consistently been told by officers and members alike in writing, at meetings and publicly that the Council are mindful to agree a deal but have to ensure best value or best consideration but also need satisfactory independent professional advice to support any decision. The Council has now received all the detailed legal, valuation, audit and ground condition advice consistent with the Council’s stated principles and all such advice supports the deals which the club have put forward. After so much work and expense for the Council, the club now anticipates that the latest offer should be approved so that work can get underway in the interests of the club, the town and the wider community.

“We have written to the Cabinet with details of our improved offer and have also highlighted that football clubs are tremendously important to towns, and even cities if Northampton was to gain that designation, and this is a fantastic opportunity to show everyone that the West Northamptonshire Council is a new authority that is open for business and prepared to work in building long term partnerships with very important partners in the community.

“We all know there will be tremendous public interest in this decision and for WNC to be able to say they have completed the process properly; they have gained more than best value and consideration and have all the relevant professional opinion and advice to back that up is a fantastic statement for the reputation of the Council.

“We know that the vast, vast majority of the NTFC fans feel the same and we also believe that most of the people of Northamptonshire will also. This is an excellent opportunity for the Council to work closely with a much loved and valued asset of Northamptonshire for the benefit of everyone we both represent.”

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