NTFC Supporters’ Trust announces ‘Project: Proud To Be’ meeting

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Next month sees the staging of a public meeting that has been labelled ‘the most wide-ranging conversation on the vision, strategy, infrastructure and ownership of Northampton Town FC in its 122-year history’.

The NTFC Supporters’ Trust are holding the meeting at the Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Northampton town centre on Sunday, March 10, starting at 1pm.

The meeting is open to all, and among the topics under discussion will be a ‘community ownership model’ for the Cobblers, which was formed way back in 1897.

The club is currently under the ownership of chairman Kelvin Thomas and his fellow directors, David Bower and Mike Wailing.

The trio rescued Town from the brink of going out of existence in November, 2015, following the well-documented financial struggles the club went through under previous chairman David Cardoza.

Thomas has made no secret of the fact that the club is up for sale, and NTFC Supporters’ Trust are keen to explore the opportunity of the club’s supporters, and local community as a whole ‘driving the club forward in the long term’.

The Trust was the first to be formed back in 1992 when the Cobblers were going through another financial crisis, and played a pivotal role in ensuring the club’s survival then.

They are now under the chairmanship of Andy Roberts, a former Cobblers correspondent for the Chronicle & Echo, and have released the following statement, which reads: “NTFC Supporters’ Trust can now confirm the date of its public meeting discussing community ownership in football, including a potential ownership model for the Cobblers.

“Project: Proud To Be will be presented at the Park Inn by Radisson hotel in Northampton town centre on Sunday 10 March.

“It will be the most wide-ranging conversation on the vision, strategy, infrastructure and ownership of Northampton Town FC in the club’s proud 122-year history.

“We believe there is scope to develop a respected and sustainable community-focused football club, benchmarked against the most progressive sports clubs locally and internationally.

“Project: Proud To Be will describe how this can be achieved and the community ownership discussion will focus on how our fantastic local community can help drive the club forward in the long term.

“Further details, including information on guest speakers, will be released in the next few weeks.”

The announcement of the meeting follows on from the recent release of the Trust’s mission statement, which talks of creating ‘a sustainable model for the club, protecting League football in Northampton and producing a strategic vision for the short, medium and long terms’.

Other key points from the mission statement read:

‘The Trust will produce and present a business model which offers an alternative to the club’s long history of private ownership’

‘We can build a club that values and utilises the skills and expertise from within the fanbase, turning customers into members. We want a club rooted in and respected by its community, one that engages with those striving to improve the town’

‘We will plan investment in infrastructure to consolidate and grow the Cobblers as the county club and to leave a legacy to our children and grandchildren in bricks, mortar, turf and trophies’

‘A vibrant working relationship with large businesses and blue-chip companies in the area is achievable, so too a tie-in with the Saints and the Steelbacks that cements Northampton as a centre of sporting excellence’

‘The Trust respects the good work done by the current board and fantastic club staff and will maintain a constructive relationship to provide a positive legacy for the fans and the local community.’