Northampton Town’s ground has been memorable for a number of visiting supporters due to the half-built main stand currently sucking the atmosphere out of Sixfields.
The controversy began when the club were loaned money in 2013 by the council to redevelop the stadium, but those funds quickly went missing and have resulted in a criminal enquiry.
Since then the development has ground to a halt and this week Conservative deputy leader Phil Larratt lashed out, claiming the situation was an embarrassment.
“That stand is an embarrassment to the town and it needs finishing. We were told the money was in the bank to pay for it, but it has never been forthcoming.”
The Conservative cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise Tim Hadland also chipped in, adding; “It’s very much at the forefront of all our considerations with the football club and their developer partners. There’s an undeveloped area to the east and they want to reach an agreement with the council on that. But nothing will be agreed before the stand is finished and a date for an opening party is set.”
Those comments have now resulted in the club releasing their own statement, in which they offer a retort, claiming progress has been made and the future development of the land Mr Hadland mentioned is key to moving forward.
“We have always stated that the completion of the East Stand was the main focus in any development or discussion, but clearly it is very important for the sustainability of the Football Club to ensure that the Football Club utilises all of its assets to move forward, including the old CDNL land which is now owned by the Football Club.
“We can all get carried away with sensational headlines or negative agendas by some, but the facts remain that the Football Club is working hard with the Council and we will continue to do so in a professional manner until told otherwise.”
Whilst the situation continues to develop, those trapped in the middle are the supporters who are greeted with a half-finished stand every time they go to watch their side play. It seems that the information being provided as a result of a media spat is the only information they’re being given, resulting in some taking to social media to air their views.
Fans just want to see some progress..its just become bickering between the 2..let's get that stand sorted
— james bashford (@jamesbashford3) March 11, 2020
About time you sorted out that shambles that is the old athletics track , it’s an embarrassment to the club
— mr teynsend (@ian_townsend) March 11, 2020
Can’t say fairer than that tbh #ntfc
— Ⓜ️ilwaukees♣️ #⃣NTFC (@oldskool92) March 11, 2020
At last what appears to be some clarity (no pun intended)
— Paul Cole (@ClaretPaul26) March 11, 2020
It's getting embarrassing now just built the bloody thing
— Iainb (@Iainb92080570) March 11, 2020
It’s not the first time I’ve heard that the hold up is the club. I was told exactly the same thing as is being said by the councillors. If the club want more land then there has to be a compromise, it’s the stand that is important to supporters, but then we are not important
— P K Laker (@PKLaker2) March 11, 2020