To those who have accused me of being anti the Cobblers and who feel that today’s planned demonstration is a result of my anti- stance all I can ask is that they perhaps read my past blogs on football and then make a judgement.
I fully accept that being a football supporter is very emotive sometimes it has to be said at the cost of any reasoned argument.
I also understand for that very reason there will be some who have no matter what the evidence made their mind up about what the issues are.
A use and personal attacks on people who have raised issues is not however the way forward either for the club or Northampton Borough Council which is why I have decided to republish my past comments and observations on this whole sorry episode.
First published 1355 days ago
As a supporter of Portsmouth Football Club I know all about what happens if the development of the stadium and the income it can generate isn’t delivered it now being over 20 years and numerous owners since the redevelopment of Fratton Park was first on the cards.
There is no doubt that there is something primeval and basic about supporting a football club and why people continue against all common sense to pay their money and turn up to watch and in many cases suffer as their team fails to deliver and of course savour and enjoy the moments of success.
The Cobblers unlike Pompey have been very fortunate to have David Cardoza as its Chairman, willing year after year to support and finance the club during a period when it has and continues to go through a difficult period which hopefully the appointment of Aidy Boothroyd as manager will resolve.
Of course football is not everyone’s cup of tea and there is no doubt that Northampton is a rugby town, but it is important to recognise the importance of the Cobblers and the impact it will have if the clubs continuing viability continues to be under threat as it has been for to long and but for the support of David Cardoza would almost certainly have gone under.
In May this year I and the Conservatives made a commitment to deliver retail development in the Sixfields area and this was delegated as a matter of priority to Cllr David Mackintosh and Cllr Tim Hadland to deliver not only on behalf of the administration at the Guildhall but more importantly for the people of Northampton.
Given the perilous league position of the club as we end 2011 and enter 2012 it is even more important that the development of Sixfields is taken forward as soon as possible and in fact it has to be implemented to allow the club and retail companies to at the very least have the confidence to submit a planning application in the New Year.
Support of the football club is important for a number of reasons, the club brings income to Northampton through the supporters who attend games running into millions of pounds a year, it is important that Northampton continues to have a successful professional football club and of course it was a promise made during the election campaign which led to David Cardoza stating very clearly that he thought the future of the Cobblers would be guaranteed if supporters voted Conservative.
The debate on whether such a definitive statement had any impact on the election results will go on but it certainly from the campaign point of view gave everyone involved a boost and was a prime mover behind the election campaign pledge to stop the town centre first policy in support of the town’s sports teams.
Retail development at Sixfields will provide financial stability to the club giving it the opportunity to improve the stadium facilities but perhaps and more importantly in terms of professional sport the quality of the playing staff to bring the on field success that all supporters want to see.
Failure to provide the development could well jeopardise the future of the football club and if the seriousness of the situation is ignored it could find itself going the same way as Rushden and Diamonds.
A major impact that seems to have been forgotten is that if the Borough Council don’t provide the retail development opportunities and if the club goes into administration or even worse goes out of business the Sixfields Stadium will revert back to the Council which would cost Northampton taxpayers in the region of £500,000 a year to maintain, that’s half a million pounds a year that would need to be found from the delivery of other services.
Put simply a failure to support the Cobblers and its demise would lead to cuts in essential front line services elsewhere.
Both the Northampton Borough Council Conservative and Labour groups have promised to support the Cobblers and accept the need for retail development which is why there now has to be significant progress by the Borough Council administration before the end of the season or reasons given for failing to deliver.
2012 is the year when NBC have to deliver the support promised to Northampton Town Football Club, the supporters have been patient; it is a patience that is now understandably running out and any delay or excuses will be considered as the clubs nickname suggests – just a load of – Cobblers.