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 Post subject: Re: A Cobblers (Northampton) Thread
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:41 pm 
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Northampton Town's players have had their wages paid by the Professional Footballers' Association, reports BBC Radio Northampton.

In October, the club said staff had not been paid because of financial issues.

The League Two club, who owe HM Revenue & Customs £166,000, faces a winding-up petition later this month.

Northampton Town also owe Northampton Borough Council more than £10m, which they were loaned by the authority to expand their Sixfields home.


For all it's faults this is what the PFA are for and fair play to them.

Hopefully the players do something to help out the non playing staff who I'm guessing also didn't get paid last month at times like this the club needs everyone to stick together.

It can't be long before lawyers get involved and the owner/directors face civil/criminal prosecution they've borrowed public money and currently there seems to be no answer as to where that money went.

Sadly this week Brian Lomax who setup the first football supporters trust back in 1992 when the club was last in serious trouble passed away last week I bet he'd have been gutted to see this happening to his club. He also help plenty of other fans setup similar groups to try and save their club.

Northampton are still in talks with a potential buyer but if that falls through it's administration and possibly curtains for them as they will find it tough to attract investors with those sort of debts. I believe the current buyer is trying to negotiate a deal with the council to extend the re-payment period for the loans so he can get the builders back and finish the works


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 Post subject: Re: A Cobblers (Northampton) Thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:34 pm 
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Just seen on skysports news police raiding the ground.

Chairmen has agreed to sell.

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 Post subject: Re: A Cobblers (Northampton) Thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:01 pm 
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Northamptonshire police have launched a criminal investigation into alleged financial irregularities at Northampton Town over a £10.25m loan made by the local council for a new east stand, which has not been built. A team of around a dozen police officers served a warrant on the club this afternoon, and began to seize documents and computer equipment for investigation.

At the same time, the club announced its owner, David Cardoza, in whose tenure the £10.25m was borrowed from Northampton borough council, has agreed to sell his stake to Kelvin Thomas, the former Oxford United chairman, subject to finalising legal details. In addition to the questions over the £10.25m, Northampton have been in a cash flow crisis, with staff still not paid their wages for October, a winding up petition served by Revenue & Customs, and the council last week applying to put the club into administration.

As the Guardian reported this month, the council leader, Mary Markham, said she had asked Cardoza personally and in legal letters where the bulk of the £10.25m loan has gone, and not received satisfactory answers.

Cardoza contracted with a north London property developer, Howard Grossman, to manage the East Stand development via Grossman’s company, 1st Land Ltd, but the stand remains a shell. The developer, Buckingham Group, walked off the site last December, having been paid only £442,000, and said it had sued Grossman for £1.9m then owing, but did not get paid and put 1st Land into administration. Cardoza then promised his company would complete the development but Buckingham did not get paid again and suspended work in May.

In a statement Markham confirmed that Northampton council, after working with the police for some time, has made “a formal complaint about potential financial mismanagement of funds lent to Northampton Town Football Club”.

The police confirmed they have received the complaint, saying in a statement: “This relates to alleged financial irregularities surrounding the loan made by the council to Northampton Town football club. In response, a team of officers this afternoon served a warrant at Sixfields Stadium in order to secure any documentation which may be relevant to the investigation. This is likely to be a complex and challenging inquiry and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.” The police described staff at the club as being “fully co-operative at this stage”.

In an unprecedented move, on Friday staff issued a statement on the club’s behalf, demanding Cardoza complete the sale to Thomas. The statement said staff are hoping to receive some money from a hardship fund collected by the supporters’ trust, and described “extreme challenges” professionally, trying to run a club with its bank account frozen, and “a nightmare” personally, “where we have to find a way to feed our families and pay our bills”.

The club’s manager, Chris Wilder, speaking after a 2-1 win at Notts County on Saturday which took Northampton to third place in League Two, also pleaded for Cardoza to complete the sale to Thomas.

Cardoza and Grossman have denied any wrongdoing and said they have explanations for what has happened to the money. At the time of writing, neither had responded to requests for further comment.

The sale of the club was announced this afternoon, pending legal confirmation. A statement from the club read: “Chairman David Cardoza has reached an agreement to sell his controlling stake in Northampton to Kelvin Thomas. The deal is subject to the legal paperwork being completed which is expected to happen well in advance of Friday’s administration hearing.”


Hopefully the sale goes through and the owner and his pal both end up in prison they are complete sharks

On the pitch it could hardly be better with new ownership hopefully they can keep pushing for promotion and maybe find a way to finish the stand some time soon


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 Post subject: Re: A Cobblers (Northampton) Thread
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:24 pm 
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Northampton Town could be relieved of its £10.25m debt owed to the borough council, after the authority agreed to back a deal to sell the club.

A memoriam of understanding has been agreed between the council and the consortium, led by Kelvin Thomas, which is taking over the Cobblers.

The deal would see the debt wiped out, with the council taking over land near Sixfields for development in return.

The club currently faces both an administration and winding-up petition.

The Cobblers owe the council the money over a loan given for unfinished redevelopment work at Sixfields Stadium, and also owes HM Revenue & Customs £166,000 in unpaid tax.

The loan was originally paid to the League Two club for building the new East Stand, along with a hotel and conference centre - none of which have been completed.

The council said the outline agreement signed off by its cabinet would see Thomas's consortium pay off the debt to HMRC and finish work on the stand.

Councillor Mary Markham, leader of the council, said: "It is clear that if the club is to survive and have some stability, we have to find a way of repaying the debt.

"This deal puts us in the strongest position to ensure that the public purse is protected."

Northamptonshire Police is investigating "alleged financial irregularities" surrounding the loan to the club.


Hopefully that's the last major hurdle dealt with obviously in an ideal world the club would've been able to develop that land itself and use the revenues to help grow the club but that option is off the table and this deal should help them survive.


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 Post subject: Re: A Cobblers (Northampton) Thread
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:10 pm 
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Thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money to fund a football stadium project may have been diverted to finance a string of other schemes, the BBC has found.

Northampton Town was loaned £10.25m of which £8.75m was passed on to developer Howard Grossman and his associates.

But some of the money, loaned by the council, appears to have funded seven unrelated building applications connected with their firms.

Mr Grossman says he does not recall the payments.

A criminal inquiry is already under way into "alleged financial irregularities" surrounding the council's loan to Northampton Town, known as the Cobblers, for a new stand which was never completed.

They are all titled "Northampton Town" and were made out to 1st Land Ltd, which was set up to operate the football club stadium project.

But the work, billed by architect Stuart Loxton, is for developments up to 50 miles away in Bushey, Barnet, Borehamwood, Elstree, St Albans and Bricket Wood.

The firm 1st Land Ltd had received £7.25m of the loan money and was set up by Mr Grossman.

Through his solicitor, Mr Grossman said Mr Loxton was retained for the Northampton project and that there was no evidence the invoices were for work carried out outside of this development.

Earlier this month the BBC revealed how High Court documents contained allegations that millions of pounds of this money had been "misappropriated" by Mr Grossman and people connected with the Bushey-based County Group, the trading name of companies owned by him.

The claim - made by the football club and its former chairman David Cardoza in the court papers - alleged a substantial part of the loan had been used for purposes unconnected with the stadium development.

The claim was settled out of court and the parties signed a non-disclosure agreement.

'Deeply offensive'

Mr Grossman has said in a previous statement that it was not for him to explain how money provided on account was spent.

He has also described the allegations against him and his associates "as outrageous and deeply offensive".

According to planning documents submitted to Hertsmere Borough Council, the applications for which Mr Loxton was paid were submitted by Stephen Hewitt and a company owned by Marcus Grossman - both County Group employees.

There were also a number of applications for a cemetery in Barnet on land owned by County Group.

When planning permission was granted, the County Group's chief executive Simon Patnick told the Jewish Chronicle in March last year: "It will give people a choice for burial rights they haven't had for generations before."

Mr Loxton said he was instructed to make out his invoices to 1st Land Ltd.

He confirmed he had been instructed by an employee of the County Group to make the invoices out to 1st Land Limited, entitled "Northampton Football Club", telling the BBC "they were for planning application drawings for numerous sites in Hertfordshire."

Through his solicitor, Marcus Grossman told the BBC he instructed Mr Loxton on one project and that the invoice was paid by his company, Magro Properties Ltd, not 1st Land.

He said he could provide a photocopy of the cheque and proof it was cashed.


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 Post subject: Re: A Cobblers (Northampton) Thread
PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:18 pm 
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On a bleak night last November, the Northampton Town manager, Chris Wilder, stood pitch-side at Meadow Lane preparing for a post-match interview. His League Two side had just beaten Notts County but he could scarcely have looked less interested in, or pleased with, the result. When the BBC’s reporter from Radio Northampton inquired about the game, it quickly became clear he was quizzing a man with more important matters on his mind. “I’ll talk a little about football,” Wilder said. “And then I’ll talk a little bit more about other things.”

Other things. Important things. By the standards of the post-match blandishments to which football fans have become accustomed since the departure of José Mourinho, what followed was extraordinary. The 48-year-old from Sheffield embarked on a measured but impassioned 10-minute soliloquy during which he addressed the various financial horrors that were being visited on his club. He was not being paid. His staff were not being paid. The Cobblers were facing imminent oblivion as the subject of a winding-up order for an unpaid tax bill of £166,000.

Back home at Sixfields, the skeletal beginnings of what was supposed to be a new East Stand stood as a constant reminder of the £10.25m the club owed the borough council. Loaned the money for ground improvements, very little of it had been spent on refurbishment and the rest was missing. The one silver lining in this dark cloud? An offer from Wilder’s former chairman at Oxford United, Kelvin Thomas, who was willing to purchase the controlling stake of the Northampton chief executive chairman, David Cardoza.

“I can’t stand looking at that stand and I imagine all the supporters and the staff are the same,” said Wilder, of the barely-begun white elephant that had become a depressing symbol of a club mired in crisis. “I’ve not said anything because I’ve gone along with it and I’ve trusted that things would be looked after. What’s happened is an absolute shambles, a complete shambles and there’s [Thomas] who wants to take it forward. I just do not understand what is going on at this football club because it’s tearing us all apart. It can’t go on forever. This club needs the investment.”

Wilder’s courageous entreaty was heard around the country less than five months ago and a lot has happened in the interim. Off the field, Thomas took over the club on the understanding that its debt will be wiped out in exchange for the council acquiring land around Sixfields for development, while Cardoza has been arrested and released on bail by police investigating “alleged financial irregularities” in relation to the £10.25m loan. The outstanding tax bill has also been settled, while building work has resumed on the East Stand, which is being used but not yet finished.

It has been needed as the most implausible plot-line in an otherwise grim chapter in Northampton’s history has been the manner in which Wilder and his players somehow managed to ignore the off-field hoopla for which their club had been making headlines to secure promotion to League One with five games of the season to spare.

Last weekend’s draw against Bristol Rovers ensured Northampton became the first Football League club to win promotion this season, prompting scenes of delirium among loyal fans who, as recently as five months ago, were rattling buckets in an attempt to raise spare change for a club that owed the kind of sums you just do not find down the back of sofas. On Saturday, they were crowned champions with four games to go, drawing at Exeter while rivals slipped up.

“It’s all about putting smiles on the faces of the supporters, especially after the season we’ve had,” said a champagne-drenched Wilder last weekend. “It’s their club, I’ve always said that and we are there to look after it and do our best as employees. I’ve never gone along with the notion that players just come along and pick their money up and they move on, because you’ve seen the scenes at the end … of what we’ve tried to do by connecting with the supporters and them backing us in numbers right the way through. So we’re here to do our best and try to put out a team they can be proud of.”

Having seen their team secure promotion at a canter in the face of almost unbearable distraction, Northampton’s supporters have every right to be proud of their players but it is almost certainly their manager who deserves most plaudits for the November rallying cry that galvanised and united those with the best interests of the club at heart. Whether their manager, who has been linked with Bolton Wanderers, will be part of that future remains to be seen, but if he walks away Cobblers fans will remember him fondly. They may also ponder the fact the stand he used to hate looking at will soon be finished and in need of a name.


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 Post subject: Re: A Cobblers (Northampton) Thread
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 4:27 pm 
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Charlton have been given permission to speak to Northampton boss Chris Wilder and his assistant Alan Knill after triggering a clause in their contracts.

The Cobblers finished this season as League Two champions under Wilder.

"My relationship with the chairman and the fans is going to make this a very difficult decision, but I do feel at this stage of my career it is one I need to explore," said Wilder, 48.

Jose Riga resigned as Addicks boss after their relegation to League One.

The Belgian had returned for his second spell at The Valley in January following the sacking of Karel Fraeye, but could not prevent the club from dropping into the third tier.

Charlton fans held a series of protests on Saturday as the Addicks lost 3-0 at home to Championship winners Burnley, the latest in a series of demonstrations against owner Roland Duchatelet.

Under Wilder, Northampton finished 13 points clear of second-placed Oxford in the League Two table after a 24-game unbeaten run.

Their promotion was achieved despite financial uncertainty earlier in the season because of outstanding loan repayments of £10.25m to the local council and a winding-up petition from HM Revenue & Customs.


I'm guessing it'll come down to money as Northampton is a clubs that's stabilised after it's problems and is very much on the up after promotion you just have to look at Burton to see how easily a team can bounce 2 divisions at that level if they stay together. Charlton on the other hand are all over the place the fans hate the owners and that will never change so unless you get offered a contract you just can't refuse why would you go there?

Obviously Charlton has a much bigger potential than Cobblers but do you really want to walk into such a divided club?


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 Post subject: Re: A Cobblers (Northampton) Thread
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:41 pm 
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A firm being investigated over "missing millions" meant to revamp Northampton Town's ground spent £36,000 on tickets and hospitality for a Premier League football club, the BBC can reveal.

Accounts for 1st Land Ltd, run by Howard Grossman, show the money was paid to Tottenham Hotspur.

The police are investigating the firm over "alleged financial irregularities" over the £10.25m for the revamp.

A spokesman for Mr Grossman said he did not wish to comment.

Northampton Borough Council loaned Northampton Town £10.25m to redevelop the East stand at Sixfields but the work was never completed.
Much of the money was passed on to the developers, 1st Land Ltd.

There is no evidence money from the council's loan (agreed in September 2013) ended up being spent on the Spurs tickets and hospitality, as 1st Land Ltd did receive a fraction of its financing from another source.

A BBC investigation into 1st Land Ltd has found the company director Howard Grossman and members of his family flew on a private VIP jet with members of the Tottenham Hotspur first team to watch a European match in Portugal in March 2014.

'Fly with VIPs'

The bank accounts indicate three payments were made between November 2013 and June 2014 to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club of £4,320 for tickets, and other payments to the club for £31,140, and £588.

The top price corporate hospitality at Spurs currently costs £26,000. It includes tickets and access to "fly with the VIPs".

Mr Grossman, director of 1st Land Ltd, and owner of the County Group, is pictured on social media at a European game at Benfica in 2014.

Also on the trip is son Hayden, a director in County Group companies, who is pictured on the VIP jet with one of the Spurs stars. It flew from Stansted's VIP terminal. Hayden Grossman also went on a VIP trip to Turkey in December 2014.

In a statement, Howard Grossman has previously said it would not be appropriate to comment "while official investigations are taking place".

In February, the BBC revealed claims made in court documents in an action between the football club and Howard Grossman and others, that millions of pounds of the loan money had been misappropriated. The claim was settled out of court.

The BBC later revealed how some of the money appeared to have been diverted to finance a string of unconnected planning applications by Mr Grossman and his associates.

At the time Mr Grossman said there was no evidence of misappropriation, describing the allegations as "outrageous and false".

Apart from the police investigation, two separate inquiries are looking into the way the borough council made the loan to Northampton Town Football Club.

A spokesman for Howard Grossman said: "We have no comment to make at this juncture. As we have made clear previously, our client is not prepared to have a 'trial by media' and at present it simply is not appropriate to respond to your further questions whilst official investigations are ongoing."

The BBC has been unable to contact Hayden Grossman.


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 Post subject: Re: A Cobblers (Northampton) Thread
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:03 pm 
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A string of failures have been found in a council's decision to offer a multimillion-pound loan to Northampton Town Football Club.

Most of the £10.25m lent to the club by Northampton Borough Council for redevelopment is unaccounted for.

An internal audit by Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) found the cabinet agreed the loan without seeing a full business case.

Responding to the report, the council said it apologised unreservedly.


Got a lot of time for this club but the local council shouldn't be lending money to private businesses that are struggling in times of austerity especially football clubs which are notoriously poorly run financially.


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