Cobblers chairman David Cardoza says he ‘fully understands’ the concerns of Coventry City fans who are now faced with the prospect of watching their club play in Northampton.
The Sky Blues’ plans to rent Sixfields for the next three seasons were approved by the Football League on Monday evening.
The deal is a controversial one and is opposed by a huge number of Coventry supporters, with many pledging to boycott their club’s fixtures at Sixfields.
Cardoza accepts there is likely to be criticism of the deal but that the view from Coventry City was that there was ‘no option’ for them but to move out of their home city.
“We totally understand that the majority of Coventry fans feel their club should be playing in their city and we are sorry they are not but the issues about whether or not they could use the Ricoh or any other venue in Coventry are not ours to discuss.
“Coventry City Football Club felt the only option was to move outside of the city, and our first involvement in this process was when we were approached by Coventry City asking us to help a fellow football club.
“There wasn’t any plan for us to try and tempt another club away from their local community for our financial gain. We are simply helping a fellow football club at their request.
“As chairman of Northampton Town, my responsibility is to the players and supporters of Northampton Town Football Club. We are not judge and jury over everything in football, of course Coventry should be playing in Coventry but the reason why they cannot for this temporary period is not down to us.
“Coventry City have come forward, asking to hire our stadium on days when it is not in use, helping Northampton Town’s cash flow in the process and have Football League approval to do so.
“We are a league two club who are battling to break even, so given the facts that are presented the decision has been made in the best interests of Northampton Town Football Club while also attempting to help Coventry City.”
Cardoza also assured supporters the Cobblers will have priority when home games clash - which they will on the second weekend of the season, August 10, when Northampton play Newport County and Coventry are due to play Bristol City.
Under the terms of the rental agreement, that game - and 10 other matches - will be moved to another date.
“This helps out a fellow club who came to us and asked for our assistance and it is a much needed additional revenue stream for Northampton Town Football Club,” said Cardoza.
“When the home fixtures clash, Northampton Town’s games will take priority and Coventry’s games will be played second. That means if both teams are at home on the same weekend, Coventry will play on the Sunday and if there is a midweek clash, Coventry will play on the Wednesday. No Northampton Town games will be moved as part of this arrangement, subject to any television requirements.”