It is difficult to know where to begin in reflecting on 2020, a tumultuous year and one of unprecedented challenge for us all. I hope that you and your families have managed to stay healthy and safe and that, before too long, we will meet again at Sixfields.
As in other areas of life, the pandemic has served to underline systemic failure and the fragility of our beautiful game at all levels below the Premier League has been grotesquely exposed. The Trust will be playing its part to join in the conversation on much-needed football reform and we hope that you too will join and let us know what you think.
Trust members on email will receive a brief survey in the run up to the AGM. Please join in the conversation! More details overleaf.
The bailout recently agreed is just a short-term sticking plaster fix which does nothing to ensure the future sustainability of football clubs. There is a bigger picture which focuses not just on sustainability but also accountability, through independent regulation, and transparency relating to the governance and financing of our clubs.
If the last 12 months or so has proved anything it is that football is nothing without its fans. Supporters at our level are the lifeblood of their clubs and should, accordingly, be treated with respect. Our position on community ownership remains unchanged. Please join in the debate – it will help inform your board as to the direction we should take.
At Northampton, we were able to celebrate a surreal promotion to League One via an extraordinary play-off campaign which culminated in an emphatic victory at Wembley.
Another positive outcome was the restoration of relations between the Trust and the football club in September when the Trust board agreed that it was in everyone’s best interests that the club takes forward for decision its east stand and wider development plans with Northampton Borough Council (NBC).
We understand that talks will now take place with the new West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) unitary authority, the successor body to NBC, which will be up and running in April. WNC will be responsible for scrutinising the detail of the Sixfields land deal which, once agreement in principle is reached, will be submitted for approval by councillors.
NTFC Supporters Trust Chairman
Please let us know your thoughts about the big issues facing the Cobblers and football in general.
You can do this either by:-
POST: PO Box
WEBSITE: If you have not done so already, register for the forum on www.ntfctrust.co.uk
Topics for discussion are as follows:-
1) Sixfields infrastructure – the east stand, the north and south stands, safe standing, car parking, the old athletics track land, the club’s training facilities, the pitch, increased and improved conferencing facilities etc. What needs to happen at Sixfields?
2) Community ownership model for NTFC – is this something you would support should the club ever find itself in a deep financial crisis once more?
3) Sustain The Game – the debate over the future of football is very much live. How can clubs become more sustainable and less reliant on a big money investor? Is this realistic?
4) Accountability – the Trust, since its foundation, has insisted that a club’s supporters should be represented on the board of the football club. Is this still desirable? Should there be independent regulation to ensure that any club is governed and financed properly?
5) Transparency – clubs operate to different (but legal) standards when it comes to sharing governance and financial information with fans. While respecting that it would not be appropriate to share some information publicly, should fans be entitled to know who owns their club, what a club’s annual turnover is, the disclosure of transfer fees, the amount of commercial income for a season, the total cost of football expenditure?
Even just letting us know whether you broadly agree, are neutral or broadly disagree on each topic would be useful!
In March, on a variety of platforms, we will be opening up the conversation to the club’s stakeholders and wider fan base.
Please ensure the views of Trust members are heard loud and clear!