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Trust response to KPMG report on Cobblers loan

28th Jan 2021

The board of Northampton Town Supporters Trust welcomes the publication of the KPMG report on the loan by Northampton Borough Council to the football club, given the strong public interest and the serious loss of public monies. 

None of the findings and recommendations come as a surprise to us and indeed it was the Trust, its members and other supporters and members of the public who had openly expressed their concerns in the months and years prior to November 2015 and, ultimately, through the Trust's 'We Want Answers' campaign.  

The loss of £10.2 million and the lack of due process, governance, monitoring and scrutiny has been a serious and ongoing stain on the reputation of the council, the club and the town and must not be repeated.  

More than five years later the East Stand remains uncompleted.  

We are aware that discussions are ongoing between the club, NBC and the West Northamptonshire shadow authority to reach a commercial agreement that can finally deliver that development. 

To that end it is not immediately clear how the recommendations made by KPMG to NBC will be carried over to the new West Northants unitary council in April.  

Furthermore, the report makes reference to compliance with European Union state aid rules, which apparently have not been finalised through the Brexit agreement and this is an aspect which will seemingly have to be revisited.

While the Trust is very supportive of completion of the East Stand, the development proposals extend to land within the leasehold titles of the club and its wholly-owned subsidiary, County Developments (Northampton) Ltd, and any proposals brought forward must be seen to safeguard the interests of the football club.  

However, this cannot be at the expense of proper process and we have always said that any deal should be subject to public scrutiny, and not merely by a council or local authority cabinet or committee meeting. 

A repeat of the events of 2013-15 must be avoided.  

We would hope that the main outcome of the KPMG investigation is that completion of the East Stand and wider development of the Sixfields site is conducted with complete transparency and that any final commercial arrangement will be in the best interests of sustaining the club in the long term, for the benefit all stakeholders, delivering an outcome which we can all be proud of.

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