1. ITV Report

Northampton Town announce major Chinese investment

Northampton's Sixfields Stadium Credit: ITV News Anglia

Northampton Town have announced they've attracted investment from a Chinese sports development and education company.

Guangzhou-based 5USport has agreed to purchase a 60% stake from the Cobblers' parent company, Northampton Town Ventures Limited.

The club's promotion to League One was a fairytale ending, after it nearly went out of business in November. Credit: PA

The club hopes the partnership will help them challenge in League One with an increased playing budget.

The investment will also support development of other areas including the East Stand, but Northampton say the structure of the club won't change.

Chairman Kelvin Thomas said, “This is a very exciting day for the club and is part of an overall investment strategy into the club from 5USport, which covers many areas.

“From our perspective, after taking over the club during those troubled times late in 2015, it has always been our intention to ensure that the club was well positioned financially, mainly so that it would never experience those times again, but also to continue to develop.

“We have always been open about how much we had to invest but what we found, especially following promotion, was for the club to really challenge in League One and beyond it made sense to find a partner."

"Fundamentally the structure will not change at the club as the stable environment was very important to 5USport, as was the history, culture and heritage of the club. We have agreed initially there will be an increase in the playing budget, plus also a budget for the purchases of younger players who can be developed and improved."