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Police could report 30 over borough's £10m football club loan

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Police are set to report 30 people for possible prosecution over £10.25m loaned by Northampton BC to the town’s football club.

A Northamptonshire Police statement said officers had spoken to more than 550 witnesses and suspects about the matter.

It said police were “preparing evidential packages in respect of 30 individuals for the consideration of the Crown Prosecution Service.

“In deciding whether individuals are charged with criminal offences, it is the role of the Crown Prosecution Service to assess the strength of this evidence and the public interest factors for or against prosecution.

“It is anticipated that in the near future the Crown Prosecution Service will request that certain areas of evidence are further refined and clarified prior to making the final charging decisions.”

Northampton called in police and auditors in December 2015 over the loan, which had been intended to enable Northampton Town FC to extend its stadium and build a hotel and conference centre but was passed by the club’s then owners to a development company that later entered administration.

A 2016 report by auditor KPMG noted: “We are unable to state that Northampton Borough Council had proper arrangements to ensure it took properly informed decisions and deployed resources to achieve planned and sustainable outcomes for taxpayers and local people.”

Meanwhile, Northampton is still unable to close its statement of accounts for 2016-17, some 18 months after it would normally have been completed.

A report to the council’s audit committee last month described the continued delay as “not helpful” and said: “It is clear there is no single factor that can be identified as the root cause of the problem, but a constant flow of what would individually have been minor issues has, in this ‘high risk’ audit environment led to cumulative problems and system weaknesses.”

Northampton in August blamed its inability to finalise the 2016-17 accounts on a high turnover of staff, coupled with an extensive use of interim managers.

Closedown for the 2018-19 accounts was intended to be completed early in the new year.



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