Northampton

Northampton Town insolvency dismissal 'in best interests'

Northampton Town Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Cobblers' off-field issues have rumbled on for months

A council has withdrawn insolvency proceedings against Northampton Town Football Club, claiming it is in everyone's "best interests" now a deal has been struck with a new owner.

The town's Borough Council took action over an unpaid £10.25m loan, but it has also allowed more time for the club to be taken over by Kelvin Thomas.

The proceedings also stopped it being separately wound-up by the taxman.

The council told the High Court it had taken an "informed decision".

Police investigation

It has been agreed the club will have its debt to the taxpayer wiped out in return for the council acquiring land near the Sixfields Stadium for development.

The £10.25m was originally given to former owner David Cardoza to develop the stadium, but the local authority subsequently called in the police.

Counsel James Morgan told Mr Justice Mann an agreement had been reached which was not arrived at lightly or without taking into account the alternative scenario of the club going into administration.

He said: "The council has taken an informed decision that this will be in the best interests of the council, the ratepayers, the football club and the wider community."

The judge said it should be made clear that in granting the order sought by the council, the court was not giving its approval of the deal, which had only been presented in outline.

Mr Justice Mann said: "It [the council] has come to the conclusion that the deal is a proper one. That is ultimately a matter for the council and not for this court."

The judge was told that another debt owed to HM Revenue & Customs had been paid in full and its application for the League Two club to be wound-up was withdrawn last week.

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