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Council makes last-ditch attempt to save Northampton Town from liquidation

By Tom Anstey    13 Nov 2015
Millions of pounds supposed to have gone into the redevelopment of Sixfields are currently unaccounted for

Northampton Borough Council has lodged a petition to try and save Northampton Town Football Club (NTFC) from liquidation, as a consortium led by former Oxford United chair Kelvin Thomas seeks to take control of the struggling League Two club.

The club currently owes the Council more than £10m, which was supposed to have been used to redevelop the club’s Sixfields ground, along with a new hotel and conference centre, though none of these developments have materialised, with much confusion as to where the multi-million pound loan has ended up.

A winding-up petition is being sought by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), who the club owed £166,000 in unpaid taxes.

In a statement, the Council said it had held discussions with HMRC, who “indicated that they are unwilling to delay or adjourn this action”, in regards to the winding-up order.

The council will appear in court to oppose the liquidation, with the petition hopefully buying the club more time to conclude a deal with the consortium, which is seeking to acquire a controlling interest in NTFC and is also in advanced discussions with the Council about the club's debt.

“When the Council met on the 2 November, it was urged to take steps to oppose the petition for Liquidation from HMRC, and it unanimously committed to do all it can to support NTFC and its supporters,” said Council leader Mary Markham.

"This course of action would prevent the club being put into liquidation on 16 November and would give us time to continue working with other interested parties to put together a rescue plan."

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