First published 1246 days ago
Before Christmas the future of NTFC Cobblers looked very bleak with the club languishing in the relegation zone which would have led to non-League football and been a major setback for the town and the club.
I wrote at the time that the Cobblers need to receive the promised support to regenerate the stadium and increase their business opportunities through the development of retail in the Sixfields area, something that the Conservatives promised last year if they formed the administration and something Labour supported in a joint letter sent to the club.
I can understand why there may have been a reluctance to move forward with the developments from October until now without knowing what the fate of the club was going to be.
Congratulations to Aidy Boothroyd and the whole of the team on securing the clubs League Status and especially to the owner David Cardoza who has continued to ‘bankroll’ the club through what has been a protracted and probably the most difficult and threatening period of the clubs history.
What cannot be allowed to happen is for the club to find itself in the same position next season because of a lack of business opportunities and income through a failure to deliver the retail expansion promised.
It is has been made clear in the recently published National Planning Policy Framework that the Government supports and promotes a “Town Centre First Policy” as defined in the NPPF under “Ensuring the Viability of Town Centres”.
This of course was a main complaint against the Liberal Democrats who persisted with a “Town Centre First Policy to the exclusion of any form of out of time retail development” and a failure to support our sports clubs which led to the new Conservative administration in May 2011 abandoning the Town Centre Policy.
It is why I appointed at the time David Mackintosh who is now Leader of the Council to the position of liaison with the Cobblers and the Saints working with Tim Hadland the Cabinet Member for Regeneration with a brief of making support of the towns sports clubs happen.
It would be a disaster for the future of the Cobblers if the administration now started to use the same excuses made by the Liberal Democrats to delay and abandon the promise to deliver practical support for the clubs long-term plans.
I hope it doesn’t happen and that the commitment by David Cardoza and his Board are rewarded with concrete and practical support that this time next season will see the Cobblers in a promotion place.
English League Two Table
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