Thomas pays tribute to Borough Council leaders for ‘brave decisions’

Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas
Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas
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Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas has paid tribute to the ‘brave decisions’ by Borough Council leaders that helped ‘keep the club alive’ earlier this season.

The Cobblers stage the first of what will be a series of title parties on Tuesday night when they entertain Crawley Town at Sixfields.

It will be the first home game the team has played since clinching the Sky Bet League Two title with a 0-0 draw at Exeter City on Saturday, and a big crowd is expected to join in the celebrations.

The team have enjoyed a superb season, but it is only six months since the club was on the brink of extinction.

Thomas and his associates stepped in to rescue the club, but Thomas believes the part played by the council leaders was equally as important.

With a huge chunk of the £10.25m the council had loaned the club having gone missing, NBC could have chosen a route that would have finished the Cobblers, but instead they decided to take on the responsibility of recovering that money.

They took that responsibilty away from the club, which paved the way for the Thomas takeover, and the chairman said: “The pride in the club has been superb, the goodwill, support and affection shown has been enormous.

“The Saints and the Steelbacks have both been in touch to say well done, and some of the first people to congratulate us were Mary Markham and David Kennedy from the Borough Council.

“It shouldn’t be underestimated the part the Council played in keeping the club alive.

“The decisions they took at that time, brave decisions, have been fully justified in what the club have achieved since.”

The club and the council are now in discussions about organising an open top bus parade to celebrate the club’s title success, and it has initially been pencilled in for Sunday, May 8 - the day after the Cobblers’ final game of the season at Portsmouth.

Thomas is delighted that is going to happen, and is also making sure the club’s hard-working staff will also get their moment in the sun, as he is ordering an extra bus for them to take part in the parade!

“The Council have very generously offered us the chance of an open top bus tour and plans are being drawn up,” said Thomas.

“It will be a huge celebration, plans are being made for Sunday, May 8, and we are looking at it taking place late in the afternoon to allow everyone who is staying over the chance to come home from Portsmouth.

“It will be a fitting finale to a wonderful season.

“I have asked for two buses, so that we can have a bus for the players and behind that a staff bus, because the staff are very much part of this.

“We have looked at paying tribute to the staff on a matchday, but that can have challenges because the staff have responsibilities on a matchday, so we feel this second bus would be an important part of the celebration.”