Trust backs #WeWantAnswers campaign ahead of Oxford game

7th Sep 2015

Northampton Town Supporters’ Trust believes the time for answers has come – and is lending its weight and support to help back the #WeWantAnswers campaign which has been started online.

We appreciate and understand how difficult and frustrating a time this has been for the fans – and the Trust board has shared that frustration.

Yesterday we released a brief statement where we outlined how our supporters’ elected director Andy Clarke had called for a board meeting of the football club to discuss off-the-pitch issues including the takeover, council loan and East Stand.

Andy Clarke requested this board meeting last weekend, and was told by the chairman David Cardoza that he would agree to this and hold a meeting ‘next week’.

When Mr Clarke contacted the football club this morning, he was informed by chief executive James Whiting that the chairman had not asked him to arrange a meeting.

After it was made clear that we were to be releasing a further statement, Mr Cardoza rang Andy Clarke this afternoon – and made it clear in his view that any ‘protest ‘ could damage the chances of the takeover going through.

It is our view however that this position should not change the views of supporters, who ever since the Trust was formed have believed in the right to ask fair and reasonable questions.

It is our intention therefore to continue to back the #WeWantAnswers campaign despite the latest statement from David Cardoza this afternoon.

Ahead of the Oxford United match at Sixfields on Saturday, fans will hold up ‘question mark’ signs with the #WeWantAnswers slogan emblazoned on them – signifying the wish to see questions answered by the chairman.

More details of the logistics of the campaign on Saturday will be released in the lead up to Saturday.

We are aware that the chairman feels it difficult to answer questions during the due diligence process of the takeover. However the Trust feels that a number of the questions it posed in its previous statement can be answered without affecting this process.

The lack of updates and answers from the chairman has created a culture where rumours begin to spread. We feel that some of these rumours could also be addressed by the chairman, which would ease tensions if they were proved to be false.

Our supporters elected representative Andy Clarke said: “This is not a campaign against the team, manager or any other officials at the club. It's directed at the chairman's lack of letting people know answers to reasonable questions.

“I acknowledge that some questions are legally complex and are not easily answered at this stage.

"We want to make sure that the team, manager and staff at the club don’t feel the heat as a result of the campaign.

“The only person who has knowledge of the takeover and can give reassurance at this current time is the chairman himself.

“The chairman is doing a deal with a big potential owner, so it's not unnatural that negotiations prove to be difficult and commercially sensitive.

“You can't give everyone chapter and verse about what is going on. But that is not the issue for us. It's the fact that the chairman is not acknowledging that all the supporters, the team, Chris Wilder and the club staff need some reassurance.

“In my view, the chairman could settle the ship if he were to answer as many of the fans’ questions as possible.”

James Averill, the press officer for the Trust, added: “ I know that some fans will be questioning the timing of our statement.

“We have to constantly gauge the views of all fans, and it can be difficult to find the tipping point where we feel fans feel the next step needs to be taken.

“We felt that this point was finally reached on Sunday after receiving a number of comments from supporters.

“Since then we have been in serious discussion about the next steps of the Trust, and felt that backing this campaign – which was being supported by an increasing number of supporters – was the right thing to do.

“We know some supporters would wish that we had acted sooner, and we know there are also supporters who wished for us to wait longer to make our next move.

“Now however we want to see a united front from all supporters in getting behind this campaign, but importantly also getting behind the players on Saturday as well.”

The Trust would like to thank you all for your patience and support.