What this means – summed up in 90 minutes.


If ever Northampton Town and, in particular, prospective new owners needed a case study of what this football club means to so many people then Saturday’s gutsy, passionate and thrilling victory at League One high flyers Coventry City came at the perfect time. The Ricoh Arena, awash with over 2,500 Cobblers fans, can’t have been expecting what was to come on an afternoon that could well be mentioned in the same breath as THAT night at Rotherham and THAT life or death experience at Shrewsbury Town.

Maybe in terms of what it means in the grand scheme of things it won’t end up having similar effects but the feelings behind a win like that, on prospectively a last ever away game for the club, cannot be underestimated. Live or die, this one will be with everyone who was there or who was following from afar for a very, very long time.

From the moment Marc Richards headed in to make it 2-1 at the end of a frantic first quarter of the game the Cobblers faithful – who had shared bucket collection duties with some terrific Coventry City fans before the game – sung as if it truly was the beginning of the end of Northampton Town in their current form.

If Kelvin Thomas and the consortium he’s representing was watching on from somewhere he would have seen exactly what the club is to us. It’s meeting with friends, family and strangers to share in the trials and tribulations of THEIR local team. It bonds us, it breaks us, it divides us yet brings us together again in times of ultimate highs or dreadful lows. Thomas would have seen a sea of claret that’s come to the fore whenever a big game comes along, especially away from home. He would have seen a team that wasn’t being paid a week earlier pull together and produce a performance of heroic proportions. And he would have seen unity from every single person involved.

That’s what the powers that be need to draw on in any arguments, debates and discussions over the next few days. This is more than a football club, a whole lot much more than a business.

It’s a life time of memories, one of which was etched into hearts and minds on Saturday. This now becomes THAT day at Coventry.

Round Two…

Next up, presuming that we make it through the next week still in business, is a handy home game against either Boreham Wood (struggling in the Conference Premier) or Northwich Victoria (third in the Northern League First Division). It represents a cracking chance of making it through to a potentially huge tie in the Third Round but of course nothing can be taken for granted. Just making it to that game at the moment will be a success!

Wednesday saviour?

Murmurings around the Interweb today have seen strong rumours emerge that a deal for completion of the takeover could happen on Wednesday. Paperwork to defend the club in the High Court needs to be in by Friday so I only hope and pray that this becomes a reality. It may be one final bit of hope to cling on to but it’s all we have!

Fans the innocent party in Coventry saga

sixfieldsI’m not going to pretend to know all the ins and outs of the latest twist in the Coventry City debacle but instead want to take a step back and look at things from the most important perspective of all – the supporters.

Going back to the start, I put myself in the shoes of Coventry supporters asked to make a 70 mile round trip to every ‘home’ game. The argument from some is that it’s ‘not that far’ and that it’s a lot closer than most away games. To me, though, this whole thing is nothing to do with travel…it’s about Coventry City supporters having to sit in a stadium that’s not their own and it’s about them having to look at the fixtures list and rather than picturing potentially defining historic moments in their history as taking place in their city and home instead seeing them being played out at someone else’s house. How would I feel if the Cobblers were forced to move to, for example, Luton Town, for a minimum term of three years? My answer…I would fight tooth and nail for justice and for my team to stay in their own town even if it meant playing at Northampton Spencer or Fernie Fields!

So I can completely understand where the majority of City fans are coming from in terms of their anger and their battles to keep their club where it belongs. What I’m struggling with is the amount of blame and hatred being levelled at the Cobblers by those same fans. What needs to be understood by both sets of supporters is that we are all passionate about our football and sometimes that can manifest in different ways when we defend our respective clubs in this whole situation. There is no point whatsoever in fans slating one another from opposite sides, though, because we are all from the same breed, hence why timeless bucket collections and ‘fan days’ are often attended by supporters from all over the country.

Whatever is going on there’s no value at all in creating some sort of war of words between the fans of these great and historic football clubs. We, as Northampton Town enthusiasts, have to put ourselves in Coventry’s shoes, Coventry fans need to use up their energies in focusing on who the real enemies are and whatever the outcome from this summer of uncertainty we can all say that we did everything we could to keep two clubs playing exactly where they should be playing.

Sky Blues deal on the brink…

Sixfields...Coventry's new 'home'...?

Sixfields…Coventry’s new ‘home’…?

The second big piece of news to break late last night was that the Cobblers had seemingly agreed a deal to host Coventry City’s home matches for ‘the next three years’ according to two key sources, the Chronicle and Echo and the Coventry Telegraph:



The move comes after the Sky Blues were forced to consider options at the end of last season with the club moving all of their staff from the Ricoh Arena. A new stadium is being planned for the city but in the meantime the League One club are assessing their options with Sixfields apparently now the front runner to host City home games whilst the new ground is developed.

The news came on the same day as the Sixfields redevelopment appeared to be rubber stamped by the Cobblers and Northampton Borough Council and we could now be looking at Sixfields being under construction mid-way through next season and also hosting TWO Football League clubs. The plan would apparently see City moving any clashing home games to a midweek or a Sunday but either way this isn’t going to sit well with Coventry supporters who would face a seventy mile round trip for ‘home’ games every other week.

There’s already been protests by Coventry fans and who can blame them? Their football club is set to be uprooted and they won’t have a clear idea of a future return to their own city for a long period of time. The least football fans should expect is that their own team is situated in their own town or city no matter what is going on behind the scenes and you have to feel for the Coventry supporters through all of this. That being said, I’m sure we would do our best to accommodate them should they decide not to boycott their games at Sixfields and hopefully anything that we do helps their club to stay alive.

It’s all got to go through the Football League before anything happens for certain but I would think Cobblers grounds men Paul Knowles and Jason Hawthorn are preparing himself for what could be a very busy winter!