Sampson's return to management was confirmed in May as he was handed the Steel Park job, just over a year after parting company with the Cobblers.
"The club must always come first but that doesn't make this decision any easier," said chairman David Cardoza at the time.
"I, my fellow directors, the staff and supporters all wanted Ian to succeed. I really hoped Ian would prove a successful manager here, but I did not see enough signs that we were improving as a side."
Sampson's exit at the beginning of March 2011 came after a run of 7 games without a win (6 of which were drawn however) and his departure certainly did not herald an upturn in Northampton's fortunes.
Indeed they did not win for a further 11 games, only securing survival with victories in the final 2 matches of the season after being in 16th place when Sampson went.
He left the club with a very respectable record of 29 wins, 27 draws and 28 defeats from 84 games in charge to go alongside an earlier brief spell as caretaker boss and of course over 400 playing appearances for the Cobblers.
His new club began their pre-season preparations on Wednesday night against Harborough Town and he had earlier expressed his pleasure at how training sessions had gone so far.