Club must be “looked after correctly” by potential new owner – Wilder

Chris Wilder
Chris Wilder

Chris Wilder says that any potential new owner of Northampton Town is merely a “custodian” who should look after the club “in the correct way” after he reiterated his admiration for Cobblers fans following their unwavering support in these distressing times.

Northampton are entering a pivotal week in their history as they continue their search for a new owner before November 16 when a winding-up petition against the club will be heard at the High Court.

Wilder has been reluctant to comment on the ongoing off-field issues but speaking after Town’s 2-1 upset of Coventry City in the FA Cup, the Cobblers boss opened up about any potential new owner, which could be Wilder’s former chairman at Oxford United, Kelvin Thomas, who is in talks to buy the club.

“They’re custodians of it,” Wilder said of any new owner. “It’s not their football club or the previous chairman’s club – they look after it and they should look after it in the correct way.

“Whoever comes in – and obviously I know some people who have been involved in that process – has to look after the football cub, look after the supporters and look after all of the staff, the people in the office and the people in the club shop and the people who sell tickets.

“They also have to look after the playing staff and the players.

“I’m a manager and there’ll be a time when I move on and there’ll be a time when the players move on but the club has to be here and should be here in the future and that’s what it’s all about, regardless of who steps in.

“It’s a precious part of the county and it’s been here for a long time and it has to be looked after.”

Wilder has repeatedly lauded Northampton supporters for their magnificent support in recent weeks, something which he did again following Saturday’s win which saw over 2,500 Cobblers fans in attendance on a memorable day for the club at the Ricoh Arena.

He added: “I’ve said all along that what’s happened over the last four of five months has brought this great club closer together and to be backed in the numbers that we have done is outstanding.

“We’re in football for days like this. Sometimes you have the down days but it’s a day to remember in the history of this proud club.

“Everybody who’s been at this football ground today can be immensely proud of themselves and we can feel immense pride in how we’re going about our business as people who care about the club.

“I’ve got a hell of a lot of respect for supporters of teams who are not glamour clubs. It’s quite easy for people in Northampton to support Chelsea or Manchester United but this is proper football – people care about their club and the welfare and the ups and downs and the roller-coaster ride and that’s certainly what it’s been since I’ve been at the club.

“It’s been a topsy-turvy ride but you’re in it for days like this.

“I’ve said all along that what’s happened over the last four of five months has brought this great club closer together and to be backed in the numbers that we have done is outstanding.”

Chris Wilder

“You find out a lot about people in bad times. Everyone wants to be your pal in good times but players, managers and staff and especially the supporters have stood up and been counted.

“It shows what the club means to people in the town and the community and there’s a lot more people who don’t live in the county that follow the club.”

The FA Cup second round draw takes place this evening but Wilder has no preference over who his side draw with football matters taking a back seat given the mounting problems behind the scenes.

“After what we’ve gone through and after what everybody’s gone through, I don’t think anybody gives a monkey’s who we get,” added the Town boss.

“The fans just want to see the team give their lot and wear the shirt with pride and whoever we play, we want to have a right go at it together.

“Football is secondary. It’s about the survival of the football club and everybody has shown how much they care in abundance.

“I said to the players afterwards on the pitch that in the group I think we’ve got something going this season and they’ve shown that in their results so far this season.”