Northampton Town: Chinese firm 5USport sell 60% stake back to directors

Northampton Town chairman Kelvin Thomas
Kelvin Thomas led the consortium that took over Northampton Town in November 2015

The Chinese firm which bought a 60% share in League One side Northampton Town has been forced to sell back its stake due to 'investment restrictions'.

Guangzhou-based 5USport took a majority shareholding in June 2017, but chairman Kelvin Thomas and director David Bower have bought back their shareholding.

Directors Tom Auyeung and Oliver Zheng have stepped down from the board.

The Cobblers currently occupy the final relegation place in League One by virtue of goal difference.

A club statement read: "Progress has been made in certain areas in particular the educational offering in China.

"However, other discussions mainly focused on the UK investment required by the club have been more problematic and the necessary funding has proved challenging due to what has been explained as overseas investment restrictions."

'The club is financially secure'

At the time of 5USport's share acquisition Thomas said they were coming in as 'partners' rather than it being a 'takeover'.

And he was quick to reassure Town fans about the club's future in light of previous financial issues:

"We can confirm that the club is financially secure, and this will continue under our ownership as we have always said.

"We have provided funding this season at various points to ensure obligations are met and also to continue to invest in the future with player acquisitions this past January.

"We are still of the mindset that for the club to fully prosper on the pitch especially at higher levels of play, it will need a long term and more sustainable model and inevitably further outside investment, but those discussions are for another day."

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