More than a month has now passed since Northampton Town FC chairman Kelvin Thomas invited questions from the Supporters Trust board about the Sixfields land deal the club is negotiating with West Northamptonshire Council (WNC).
The Trust has to date received no replies to any of the questions it submitted, having asked for written responses so that they are clear, understood and on the record and could therefore be shared with members and the wider fanbase.
Accordingly, in the absence of full and satisfactory written answers, the Trust is no longer in a position to support the land deal going forward.
The Trust has today written to WNC leader Councillor Jonathan Nunn, opposition leaders and chief executive Anna Earnshaw, to notify them of this.
The club did offer the Trust a Zoom meeting to discuss the questions we asked but we have always maintained, from the outset, that written answers are required in matters of such detail and complexity.
The club’s Open House on Friday is a welcome development as it will finally give all Cobblers supporters the opportunity to see plans for the completion of the East Stand and ask questions about those plans, something we have asked the club to do for many years.
But again, this forum is not an appropriate way of addressing the wider questions we have asked for the reasons already outlined.
The East Stand completion is not a stand-alone project, even though Kelvin Thomas and David Bower gave every indication when they took over the club in 2015 that it would be.
It is intrinsically linked to the wider land development deal and, as it stands, the Trust remains unconvinced that the deal would be in the best interests of Northampton Town FC going forward.
The owners state that the football club will benefit from the redevelopment but they fail to explain how, other than the club finally having a completed East Stand.
They do not differentiate between themselves in their roles as club owners and creditors respectively, to whom there is a significant indebtedness, and the football club itself – and there is a difference.
How this debt has grown year by year since the financial year 2017-2018, and its origins, is a matter of concern.
We do not have any detail as to how the deal will benefit the club in terms of future income streams, beyond the revenue earned from the completed East Stand.
That is the key question and it is one of the many that remains unanswered.
Our members, and supporters generally, deserve to be treated with more respect and we are disappointed at the refusal to supply written responses to questions concerning Northampton Town FC which are relatively straightforward and easy to understand.
Moreover, it is difficult to comprehend the difficulty in answering the questions, since in structuring the land proposal to WNC and planning the future of the club, it is assumed that our owners would have already given proper consideration to the matters we have raised.
It is a shame, as the Trust was looking forward to continuing supporting the club’s redevelopment plans on receipt of satisfactory answers to the questions we asked.
We hope that the owners of the club will reconsider their position, answer the questions and give supporters a good idea of what the future looks like for Northampton Town FC – not just the East Stand - in the months and years ahead.