UPDATE: Latest statement from Trust on redevelopment and proposed takeover

17th Jul 2015

Last night (Thursday July 16) the steering group of the Supporters’ Trust met for the first time since the news of the Heads of Term agreement was signed by David Cardoza for the potential sale of the club to an Indian consortium.

We understand since then that fans may have been frustrated by a lack of information from both the club and ourselves. While we can understand the frustration of waiting, we felt it was in our best interests to hold a proper discussion with members of our board before adding further to our previous statement.

Following our meeting last night, the Trust is urging the football club, its chairman David Cardoza, and chief executive James Whiting to address some of the concerns fans have raised with ourselves, with the media and with internet forums such as The Hotel End.

Many of these concerns will have been included in the recent invitation by NTFC to ask questions of the Chairman. It would appear, despite having been submitted some time ago, these questions have not yet been answered.

The Trust believes that answers to the following questions could alleviate some of the concerns that fans have shared:

1) To explain the relationship between the club and First Land Ltd, in particular the relationship with Howard Grossman.

2) What were the reasons for selecting this company to undertake the works?

3) What was the purpose of the £2.65million ‘joint venture fee’ that was lent by First Land to Tony and David Cardoza?

4) Was there anything in the loan terms from the council that required their consent to the awarding of the contract to First Land?

5) What is the relationship of NTFC with the various ‘County’ companies in relation to the project?

Andy Clarke, the supporters’ elected representative on the board of the football club, made the following comments regarding his involvement with the decision making progress of the redevelopment.

Mr Clarke said: “When I started as the elected Trust representative on the NTFC board, the arrangement with Grossman was already in place.  In the last two seasons there were only two board meetings of NTFC, where decisions were made in relation to the East Stand or the wider Sixfields development.

“On September 14, 2013, the football club’s board agreed a ‘Facility Agreement’ authorising David Cardoza to execute documents on behalf of the board - including loan drawdown requests.

“It was explained that the granting of Facility Agreement by the board was a stipulation of the loan agreement with Northampton Borough Council. At the meeting there was no mention of First Land.

“In early January 2015, I received an urgent call from David Cardoza saying that he would like me to come in to give my support and sign an important document in respect of the severing of relationships with County Developments Northampton Ltd.  

“I attended at the chairman’s office - it was not a board meeting but I was informed that the other directors had given their agreement to a proposal. The proposal was to repatriate the County shares to David and Tony Cardoza through a ‘settlement’ with County.

“It seemed to me that this was the only way forward to avoid a stalemate of no progress with the construction and interminable legal processes if County were to hang on to their shares.

“Though alarmed at the lack of proper reporting to a board meetinh, I agreed to the document as I believed it to be in the best long term interests of NTFC. I communicated the gist of this matter to the Chairman of the Trust.

“There were other board meetings but these two were the only ones at which the board were asked to make decisions on the development of the stadium.

“I share fans’ concerns that the number of seats, corporate boxes and quantum of the conference centre in the East Stand have been constantly changing following the granting of planning permission.

“I do know that the contract with Buckingham was drawn up as a ‘Design and Build’ contract, which allows changes, subject to joint agreement. I can only imagine that costs were over running, which necessitated down sizing.

“None of these changes were the subject of an NTFC board decision. It should not be overlooked that the West Stand has undergone considerable changes, including an aborted extension, which were also not bought before the board.”

In the meantime, the Trust would again urge the potential new owners to make themselves known to fans as soon as possible.

The identity of the consortium is still unknown to us. We also await any potential meeting they may have with Northampton Borough Council and will endeavor to find out as much as we can for the fans.

NTFC SUPPORTERS' LTD STATEMENT - July 17, 2015

Last night (Thursday July 16) the steering group of the Supporters’ Trust met for the first time since the news of the Heads of Term agreement was signed by David Cardoza for the potential sale of the club to an Indian consortium.

We understand since then that fans may have been frustrated by a lack of information from both the club and ourselves. While we can understand the frustration of waiting, we felt it was in our best interests to hold a proper discussion with members of our board before adding further to our previous statement.

Following our meeting last night, the Trust is urging the football club, its chairman David Cardoza, and chief executive James Whiting to address some of the concerns fans have raised with ourselves, with the media and with internet forums such as The Hotel End.

Many of these concerns will have been included in the recent invitation by NTFC to ask questions of the Chairman. It would appear, despite having been submitted some time ago, these questions have not yet been answered.

The Trust believes that answers to the following questions could alleviate some of the concerns that fans have shared:

1) To explain the relationship between the club and First Land Ltd, in particular the relationship with Howard Grossman.

2) What were the reasons for selecting this company to undertake the works?

3) What was the purpose of the £2.65million ‘joint venture fee’ that was lent by First Land to Tony and David Cardoza?

4) Was there anything in the loan terms from the council that required their consent to the awarding of the contract to First Land?

5) What is the relationship of NTFC with the various ‘County’ companies in relation to the project?

Andy Clarke, the supporters’ elected representative on the board of the football club, made the following comments regarding his involvement with the decision making progress of the redevelopment.

Mr Clarke said: “When I started as the elected Trust representative on the NTFC board, the arrangement with Grossman was already in place.  In the last two seasons there were only two board meetings of NTFC, where decisions were made in relation to the East Stand or the wider Sixfields development.

“On September 14, 2013, the football club’s board agreed a ‘Facility Agreement’ authorising David Cardoza to execute documents on behalf of the board - including loan drawdown requests.

“It was explained that the granting of Facility Agreement by the board was a stipulation of the loan agreement with Northampton Borough Council. At the meeting there was no mention of First Land.

“In early January 2015, I received an urgent call from David Cardoza saying that he would like me to come in to give my support and sign an important document in respect of the severing of relationships with County Developments Northampton Ltd.  

“I attended at the chairman’s office - it was not a board meeting but I was informed that the other directors had given their agreement to a proposal. The proposal was to repatriate the County shares to David and Tony Cardoza through a ‘settlement’ with County.

“It seemed to me that this was the only way forward to avoid a stalemate of no progress with the construction and interminable legal processes if County were to hang on to their shares.

“Though alarmed at the lack of proper reporting to a board meetinh, I agreed to the document as I believed it to be in the best long term interests of NTFC. I communicated the gist of this matter to the Chairman of the Trust.

“There were other board meetings but these two were the only ones at which the board were asked to make decisions on the development of the stadium.

“I share fans’ concerns that the number of seats, corporate boxes and quantum of the conference centre in the East Stand have been constantly changing following the granting of planning permission.

“I do know that the contract with Buckingham was drawn up as a ‘Design and Build’ contract, which allows changes, subject to joint agreement. I can only imagine that costs were over running, which necessitated down sizing.

“None of these changes were the subject of an NTFC board decision. It should not be overlooked that the West Stand has undergone considerable changes, including an aborted extension, which were also not bought before the board.”

In the meantime, the Trust would again urge the potential new owners to make themselves known to fans as soon as possible.

The identity of the consortium is still unknown to us. We also await any potential meeting they may have with Northampton Borough Council and will endeavor to find out as much as we can for the fans.