The Cobblers supporters’ trust has followed up its intention to explore community ownership options for the Sixfields club with a mission statement.
Titled Project Proud To Be, the mission statement says that the trust will create “ a sustainable model for the club” that provides “protection of league football and a strategic vision for the short, medium and long terms”.
The trust’s vision for community ownership includes an exploration of “hybrid models”. Such hybrid models can range in supporter shareholding from 10% upwards and it is understood the trust are open to working with private investors, including local backers. Swansea City Supporters’ Trust owns around 21% of the Championship club while Exeter City are owned to the tune of around 54% by its trust. The fan shareholding at League 1 AFC Wimbledon meanwhile sits at a weightier 77%.
The statement asserts that the Northampton Town Supporters’ Trust, formed as the first ever supporters’ trust in 1992 can return to “the vanguard of the fan movement” while there are plans for “investment in infrastructure to cement consolidate and grow the Cobblers as the county club”. Swansea City, Exeter City and AFC Wimbledon have all seen significant infrastructure growth under community ownership.
Fans of all 3 codes of Northampton sport will be interested in the Trust’s innovative ideas for a tie in between the Cobblers, Saints and Northants County Cricket Club that “cements Northampton as a centre of sporting excellence”.
The move towards community ownership became more topical with today’s victory for Northampton Borough Council over former private owners of the Cobblers David and Anthony Cardoza in a civil court case. Anthony Cardoza ordered to pay the Council £2.1 million.
A public meeting to discuss community ownership of the club and the trust’s Project Proud To Be vision is in the pipeline.
NTFC Supporters’ Trust is to assess community ownership models for the Cobblers including a partnership between fans and private investment.
This is about creating a sustainable model for the club, protecting league football in Northampton and producing a strategic vision for the short, medium and long terms.
The Trust will produce and present a business model which offers an alternative to the club’s long history of private ownership.
We believe in the potential for a respected and sustainable community focused football club, benchmarked against the most progressive sports clubs locally, nationally and internationally.
Northampton Town can regain its role at the vanguard of the fan movement and provide the community with an open and transparent club that gives the supporters a democratic voice and true involvement.
We can build a club that values and utilises the skills and expertise from within the fan base, 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.
It’s time to encourage a new, hopeful, diverse generation of supporters unburdened with the struggles of the past.
The Trust believe in the power and potential of the next generation of Cobblers fans.
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.
“Please support the Trust. Join it if you haven’t already. I used to sign off my articles in the fanzine with ‘see you in the bar afterwards’. Obviously I can’t do that now but I would like to see you in the driving seat at this club.” – Brian Lomax.