Northampton Town: Kelvin Thomas' takeover in doubt

Northampton Town cannot die - Wilder

Kelvin Thomas' deal to take over League Two side Northampton Town from current chairman David Cardoza is in doubt.

Former Oxford chairman Thomas said in a statement: "We are still trying to purchase the majority shareholding of Northampton Town Football Club at this time, but only just."

The club is subject to an administration petition from the local council over a £10.25m loan.

They have also received a winding-up petition from HM Revenue & Customs.

Thomas described the situation as "incredibly complex and challenging" but remains "very interested" in buying the club despite the current owners having talks with other interested parties.

The statement said a deal had been agreed with David and his father Tony Cardoza, and Thomas had held talks with Northampton Borough Council, met with the supporters' trust and "had an understanding" with contractors over the redevelopment of the Sixfields East stand.

Kelvin Thomas
Kelvin Thomas has previously held an advisory role at Torquay United

"Unfortunately it has taken too much time for David and Tony Cardoza to complete the share purchase agreement and we are now stuck wondering if they really want to complete the deal as agreed," the statement added.

Last week, Northampton Borough Council applied for the administration petition prior to Monday's HMRC hearing at the High Court in London over £166,000 in unpaid tax, which was adjourned until 30 November.

Administration petitions have to take precedence over winding-up petitions, and the council decided to bring it against the club to give it "more control over the club's future".

That petition will be heard on 27 November.

Thomas' statement added: "We were not interested in the development land (around the stadium) as we are businessmen with experience in football clubs, and not large scale developers that a project like that requires.

"It was very important for us to conclude a deal prior to any insolvency event, as we did not feel that was in the best interests of the club.

"Points are hard fought for at the best of times in this league and to lose 12 at this stage would be very damaging for any promotion push."

Northampton Town
Northampton are currently in the League Two promotion places

In response, David Cardoza said that he had to speak to other parties to ensure the club was going into the right hands.

"It's a negotiation that's been going on, to be fair, it's been going on for far too long, but I'm not going to have a bad word about Kelvin," Cardoza told BBC Radio Northampton.

"But over the last week or so there's been a number of interested parties. Obviously they needed to be talked to, we need to find the best solution, it's not a solution for ourselves - we're selling the club for £1.

"It's about the best deal for the club. There's the loan situation that needs to be sorted out and then there's the future of the club. We needed to explore exactly what's out there."

Meanwhile, Northampton Borough Council have announced they will investigate how they managed the loan to Northampton Town and prepare a public interest report.

A statement added: "Alongside this investigation, we continue to work with Northamptonshire Police on understanding what has happened to the money and if a formal complaint can be made to them, we will do so."