Kelvin Thomas, the owner of Northampton Town, has criticised the local council over ongoing delays to a new stand project at the English League One football team’s Sixfields Stadium home.
Northampton Borough Council loaned the club £10.25m (€11.7m/$14.1m) to help fund stadium redevelopment work, but the money has since gone missing, according to the BBC.
The council loaned the money to the club while it was under the ownership of David Cardoza, and while some work did take place, this is yet to be completed after contractors were not paid.
A police investigation into the missing loan remains ongoing.
Thomas acquired the club from Cardoza in November 2015, days before it had been due to go into liquidation. Thomas also paid £160,000 that was owned to HM Revenue & Customs to avoid a winding-up petition hearing.
The BBC said that the council has spent more than £1m in an effort to reclaim the loaned money, while it has also been in constant contact with the club over the future of the redevelopment project.
However, Thomas has now openly criticised the council for its position on the matter, accusing it of being “an immovable force” and describing the situation as “very frustrating”.
“The criticism we sometimes get [about the stand] is just plane wrong,” Thomas told the club’s official YouTube channel. “It’s as if we are somehow responsible, when we are just not.”
Thomas, who believes the cubs has been “treated very harshly,” added: “We’ve found a lot more issues than we ever thought we would find.”
A spokesman for Northampton Borough Council also said: “We will continue to work privately with the Football Club on these matters, but we believe that NTFC are in a position that enables them to proceed with the completion of the East Stand.”
Northampton was all-but relegated form League One at the weekend after losing 1-0 to fellow strugglers Walsall. The club sits 22nd in the league, three points off safety with a far inferior goal difference than teams around them.
Image: Matt Churchill