Northants County Cricket Club has spoken to ‘several parties’ about potential investment, head coach reveals

Northants County Cricket Ground
Northants County Cricket Ground

Private investors have been in talks with Northamptonshire County Cricket Club over stabilising its finances, the head coach has said.

David Ripley, the former captain, told the Chron that there have been talks with several parties - in addition to Northampton Borough Council - about putting the club on a better footing.

He said: “I’m aware there’s been lots of discussion with lots of parties: the council and individual supporters.

“Certainly, Ray (Payne) and the board have been very proactive over the last six months to try to stem the tide.”

Mr Ripley’s comments come after today’s announcement that Northampton Borough Council is willing to lend the club up to £250,000.

It has been rumoured that the club was seeking half-a-million pounds of investment. Mr Ripley said he did not know what the figure was, but said both organisations and individuals had been contacted about financial aid.

He added: “I know we’ve explored lots of options: the council, private investors, supporters of the club.

“We’ve needed a high level of support.”

Mr Ripley admitted he had been worried about the Wantage Road club’s financial health.

But he said the backing of the council was a huge boost that would perhaps give other potential investors confidence.

He said: “Obviously it’s great to know that the council value first-class cricket here and they’re willing to support us.

“Certainly seeing the council come forward so positively to help us is a great help to everyone else who is looking.

“You all need someone to start the ball rolling and we have needed quite a lot of support.

“It’s nice to know the town appreciates having the cricket club here.

“Hopefully with a bit firmer footing now in terms of our expenditure and the willingness of the staff to generate more income into the club that will be sustainable and we’ll be here hopefully for as long as we can be.”

If agreed, Northampton Borough Council would look to offer the cricket club a secured loan of up to £250,000 to help get the club back to a financially sustainable position.

The cricket club’s business plan shows that the loan would be repaid within five years. The council would initially only loan the Club up to £100,000, with an additional £150,000 available if more support is needed,” the spokesman added.

Back in August this year, the cricket club said things had “changed significantly” since poor financial figures in 2014.

A spokeswoman said at the time that new board members and new staff had been taken on and it had a “comprehensive commercial plan” to address the “historic losses”.

The plans involved utilising the County Ground for both cricket and non-cricket events.

And the intention was to make a capital investment in the club to maximise the potential of its meeting and events space.