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Local Council Looks to Save Northampton Town FC from Winding Up Petition

Reviewed: 12th November 2015

The local council in Northampton has lodged a petition asking that Northampton Town Football Club be entered into administration to save it from being liquidated.

Northampton Town is facing a winding up petition in relation to unpaid taxes and as a result of actions being taken by HM Revenues & Customs (HMRC).

Hopes are that taking the football club into administration will open up the prospect of saving it as a going concern and avoid seeing it wound up over the course of the coming days, with a court currently due to rule on the matter on Monday November 16th.

Statements made about the issue by Northampton Borough Council explain that administration is seen as a means of potentially buying more time for a rescue plan to be put together and for the football club to be saved.

The council itself is a major creditor to Northampton Town FC, having issued it with a loan of £10.25 million with the aim of helping it to redevelop its home stadium.

It is hoped that the council’s petition to take the football club into administration will take precedence over HMRC’s winding up petition which relates to £166,000 in unpaid taxes.

Kelvin Thomas, the former chairman of Oxford United Football Club, is leading a consortium that is reportedly close to finalising a takeover of the Northampton club, nicknamed the Cobblers.

“The council, when it met on 2 November, was urged to take steps to oppose the petition for liquidation from HMRC, and it unanimously committed to do all it can to support the Cobblers and their followers,” the council said in a statement.

“This course of action would prevent the club being put into liquidation on Monday and would give us time to continue working with other interested parties, including the Supporters' Trust, to put together a rescue plan for the Football Club.”

Northampton council provided its £10.25 million loan to Northampton Town in order to enable the construction of a new east stand at the club’s Sixfields Stadium, along with a new hotel and conference centre at the same site.

However, none of the intended construction work has been completed and there have been reports in recent weeks suggesting that the funds involved might not have been used in an entirely transparent fashion, with several of the companies involved having recently been entered into liquidation.

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