Northampton

Council 'unlikely' to get Northampton Town loan back in full

Northampton Town stadium Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Work first stalled on Northampton Town's East Stand in 2014

A council is "unlikely" to recover all of the £10.25m it loaned to a football club, the authority's chief finance officer has said.

Northampton Borough Council loaned the money to Northampton Town FC in 2013 to fund the redevelopment of its stadium.

The work was never finished and last week the former owner of the club was ordered to repay £2.1m to the council.

Now a council audit committee meeting heard the finance officer "may have to write some of [the loan] off".

Last week, Birmingham High Court ruled Anthony Cardoza - the former owner of the club - should give money back to the council, who brought the civil case against him.

Former chairman David Cardoza, who was also being sued by the council, was ordered to repay other money used to rebuild his house.

Image caption David Cardoza (right) and his father Anthony appeared at the High Court in Birmingham last week

The loan deal was agreed in 2013, but work stalled on the redevelopment due to the club's financial problems and former owners the Cardozas sold the club in 2015.

Most of the money is unaccounted for and remains the subject of an investigation by Northamptonshire Police.

Image caption Northampton Borough Council made the £10.25m loan to help the club redevelop its Sixfields Stadium and surrounding land

The council's chief finance officer Stuart McGregor said on Monday that the loan was "a reserve account issue" that had no impact on precepts, council tax or the day-to-day revenue fund, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

He added: "We don't know what we have to write off yet because we are still going through litigation.

"I recognise that we are unlikely to recover all of the money, and instead of finding pounds and pennies from all over the place I need to give auditors reassurance that I may have to write some of this money off and I'm not going to allow it to be spent."

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