Northampton could leave Franklin’s Gardens

Northampton Saints are said to be considering leaving their home at Franklin’s Gardens if they are not given permission to expand the ground.

Last year the Saints reached an agreement to sell part of the site to supermarket chain ASDA in order to raise finances for a proposed expansion of the stadium’s capacity from around 13,500 to 17,500.

However Northampton Borough Council appear set to block any application from the chain to build on the site as they fear it will damage trade in the town centre.

Northampton chairman Keith Barwell told The Daily Telegraph: “This could be our last season here because undoubtedly, while we are waiting for the council, we are already having discussions with the banks and have a plan B.”

He added: “We would have to decide whether it is worth putting the club into significant debt by paying for the redevelopment ourselves or share a stadium somewhere else.

“If the council want to keep the rugby club in Northampton for at least the next 15 years, they are going to have to show a bit of common sense.”

Northampton Saints registered second ground is the Milton Keynes Dons’ stadium:mk as Franklin’s Gardens does not comply with Heineken Cup criteria.

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