Northampton Town: Chinese company 5USport buys 60% stake in Cobblers

Northampton Town's Sixfields Stadium
Northampton Town have been owned by a Kelvin Thomas-led consortium since November 2015

A Chinese sports development and education firm has agreed to purchase a 60% stake in Northampton Town.

Guangzhou-based 5USport now has a stake in the holding company which owns the majority shareholding in the Cobblers.

Northampton chairman Kelvin Thomas suggested it was not a takeover and added that he and 5USport would be working as "partners".

Thomas also said there will be no change to the overall structure of the League One club.

But there will be investment in the playing budget for boss Justin Edinburgh, as well as the East Stand and "other development areas".

Thomas told BBC Radio Northampton: "They do have the majority share. You could call it investment or you can call it a takeover. I wouldn't necessarily understand the difference.

"A takeover would tend to mean 5USport were coming in to take over, but they're not. We're working as partners and the structure of the club will stay the same, I'm staying on as chairman and the directors are staying."

Northampton Town
Northampton Town finished 16th in League One last season

Thomas completed his takeover of the Cobblers from David Cardoza in November 2015 and since then the club won promotion to the third tier.

Chief executive of 5USport, Tom Auyeung, said: "We have been looking at partnering with an English football club for about 18 months now.

"We have looked closely at others, but none ticked as many boxes for us as Northampton Town.

"We are very excited to be able to agree this partnership with (director) David Bower and Kelvin Thomas over the past few months, and we thank them for their professionalism and honesty throughout this process.

"We are not looking at making any changes in terms of the staffing and are pleased to announce Kelvin has agreed to continue in his role as chairman."