This week’s FA Cup draw proved a slight anticlimax when Derby were pulled out of the hat instead of Man City but Cobblers’ Round 4 tie against the Rams can be considered a winnable fixture with a sizeable cash reward for the winner.
Not only have Cobblers bagged over £400k in their FA Cup exploits this season from TV coverage and prize money but they remain in line for a £250k divisional progress bonus as the longest surviving League 2 club in the competition should Carlisle lose to Cardiff in their replay next Wednesday. The live TV forecast fee for Cobblers V Derby on BT Sports is worth £150k alone.
It’s clear that Cobblers have bagged a significant sum from their FA Cup run and of course the club’s money is being hypothetically spent by all and sundry before it’s been banked but that’s the nature of the beast. Of course, the club board could well bank the money to plug the losses shown in the last set of accounts but you’d hope a good wedge would go back into improving things at Sixfields.
A proven goalscorer will be number one on everyone’s list but here’s a couple of ideas on how the funds could be be reasonably reinvested.
There was disheartening news for fans that want the option to stand safely at Sixfields this week with the club saying that they had concerns over the feedback from a recent survey that they may lose season ticket holders if safe standing is fitted to the North Stand. Of course, a few fans who insist on sitting will have their noses put out of joint but the benefits to the club in terms of atmosphere and choice has to win the day.
Surely any level headed fan if offered an alternative, higher priced seat at no extra cost would move for the good of the collective? The benefit of standing was there for all to see at Burton with crowd on the terrace roaring the team to victory. Investing the FA Cup cash to make the whole North Stand a safe standing area would be a fine way to spend the money.
Fans’ village marquee
Last year the club erected a marquee and held a beer festival with bands ahead of a game, which went down a storm with the fans. The club have invested in the North Stand fans’ village with the building of a bar but the area is open to the elements which isn’t ideal. One use of the FA Cup money could be the provision of a marquee or other cover for fans which would also provide shelter for the excellent Sixfields Sounds DJ Matt Amos.
Matt has provided a brilliant soundtrack to Cobblers games both in the fans’ village and in front of Carr’s Bar but his equipment is open to the elements. Let’s see some further investment for fans who like a beer and some music to set them up for games.
Club East Stand update at fans’ panel said a lot but not a lot
The club released a couple of significant updates within their summary of the fan engagement panel meeting at Sixfields on Thursday night. That old dumbo of an elephant in the room the East Stand was mentioned with the Cobblers saying they had tabled a couple of options for an enabling deal to finish the stand and share profits with Northampton Borough Council. Town chairman Kelvin Thomas shared a look at some plans for the stand which have so far not been detailed in a formal public manner.
In an associated video, Thomas talked of “progress” with NBC but there seems to have been no detailed information from the council for some time on what that progress might entail.
Overall you get the feeling that such important matters should be put before a stand alone public meeting with full plans on show if the club’s land deal scheme is to be taken seriously
Saints and Cobblers face TV clash, great for the Town, less so for fans who cross codes
There was a great comment piece released by the Cobblers press team after the news that both Cobblers and Saints were to be shown live on BT Sports on Friday 24th. The club talked up the brilliance of Northampton as a sporting town and of course the locals’ grumbles about traffic are just a lot of hot air. But there were genuine concerns from match going fans who attend both Sixfields and Franklins Gardens over which game to choose.
Obviously TV companies have a huge say in fixtures but it’ll be a great day when both clubs stop operating loosely in the same orbit and come together to truly sing off the same hymn sheet. Saints need Cobblers fans to inject more atmosphere to the Gardens and Cobblers could do with a few more Jimmies fans to bring attendances over the 7k mark. Conflicting matches do nothing to help. Cheaper tickets and joint memberships are achievable.
The work that Northampton Town Supporters Trust are doing towards creating a sporting club setup with far closer coordination between the Town’s 3 sports clubs is the right way to go. Bristol Sport are making a good fist of it and it hasn’t hurt FC Barcelona which operates a multi-sport setup. Més que un club indeed.