English clubs · English football · Football administration · Football finances & business · Football managers

Luton Town

In reply to

Luton Town have been hit with -10 points for “paying agents via a third party” by the FA. Obviously there are some differences with the West Ham saga last season, but is this not a double standard, at least showing that the FA were wrong not to punish WHU with a points deduction?

To what extent was Mike Newell the catalyst to what has unfolded at Luton Town?

He had a pretty decent record as a manager. Unfortunately, whistle blowers are often alienated by the rest of the industry.

Of course, his comments about Amy Rayner wouldn’t have helped him. According to Wikipedia, she “oversees matches in the Football Conference”.

(First posted on Tony Kempster’s Non-League Forum)


5 thoughts on “Luton Town

  1. In reply to

    Newell knew he was shooting himself in the foot by coming out about corruption in football but he, like the fans at Luton Town, wanted the conmen out of Kenilworth Road. He sold players to the value of £13m in 12 months and all but £2m disappeared.

    Unfortunately the FA have seen fit to punish the club’s new owners for the wrong doings of the previous owners. The former CEO has been fined a mere £250 for fiddling the books and making a few hundred thousand, which he’s now trying to do at Swindon Town. So much for the ‘fit and proper person’ test.

    I’m just amazed that we’ve received a competitive punishment for no competitive advantage, yet West Ham cheated their way to over £30m through Premiership survival through an ineligible player’s goals and got away with only a £5m fine.
    Where are the points deductions for West Ham, Chelsea, Bolton, Birmingham and Portsmouth who’ve all committed similar offences…oh wait they make too much money for the FA, for them to be punished.

    Rayner is hopeless to say the least, every time she’s run the line in the FL, fans have been berating her inability to make her own decisions and apparent lack of attention toward the game. It’s a bad advert for budding female officials to have that to aspire to when there are likely to be better officials of both genders not getting the same helping hand.
    What people also forget about that game is that the QPR players staff and fans all agreed with Newell, even in some cases about her blanking out on the penalty issue rather than making a decision either way.

    I have little faith in football administrators, match officials and the way the game is run generally.

    I have some sympathy for match officials, who have a tough job to do, especially with the increasing pace of top flight football in England. I have little sympathy for football administrators, who appear to be primarily motivated to preserve their power base.

    It’s about time that people who actually care about football seek to reclaim it.

    (First posted on Tony Kempster’s Non-League Forum)

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  3. In reply to

    Looks like Luton will be in the Conference in 2009/10. It would take a lot to overcome a 30 point deduction. Probably a favorite to go back up quickly given their size and support (not to mention being debt free following their third bankruptcy in 10 years!


    Putting aside the arguments about the wrong people being punished, etc, it does beg the question whether demotion would actually be a better option.

    To have one of the two relegation places already sewn up reduces the degree of competition at the base of league 2, meaning the same old coffin-dodgers can bumble along for another season contributing little to the league. Surely League 2 would be the better for a repreived side able to compete on an even footing than a lame duck.

    Meanwhile, surely it would be better all round for Luton to start afresh in the conference this season, allowing the momentum of the takeover to provide a solid foundation for the future while giving the players and supporters a realistic target to play for, rather than going through the motions for a year, during which time gate receipts will suffer, outside investment will suffer, and the club as a whole will be hit financially, just at a time when they need to be consolidating their whole budget.


    Dont forget that Rotherham also entered Administration for the second time last season so could also be subject to a points deduction so it could well be a three way fight along with 2 other poor teams which two teams they will be though remains to be seen. As for West Ham yes they got away with it but they were also very clever by not appealing to the FA. If they had appealed against the puishment from the PL then the FA could have imposed a stiffer sentence which they are able to do, but as the hammers did not appeal then the FA could not intervene.


    It seems to me that there are two different issues here. Firstly, clubs have spent money they didn’t have and advanced through the pyramid at the expense of clubs that played honourably. It seems to me that deducting points is a perfectly inadequate punishment. The proper treatment should be to put them back in the division that they started from. From the point of view of the club and its fans that should be acceptable. They cheated and should not benefit from the transgression.

    The other issue is the treatment, from a footballing stance, of the owners and officials that behaved badly. Simply, they need to be banned from football and forbidden to own a football club. That seperates their treatment from the club and its fans.

    In any event, points deduction seems to be totally inadequate to the crime.

    Is this too simplistic?

    I suppose the considerations have changed, now that they will be starting with -30 points instead of -10.

    We can all disagree on who should be punished, and whether the sanction is inadequate or excessive, but I think most of us are agreed that there has been a lot of inconsistency and other serious shortcomings on the part of the authorities.

    At this stage, Luton Town might be better of trying to negotiate their relegation to the Conference Premier, and starting with a clean sheet.

    Whatever the final outcome, the football authorities look very foolish, to say the least.

    (First posted on Tony Kempster’s Non-League Forum)

  4. I think it takes about 10 games for the league tables to make any real sense, but a league table where the bottom 3 clubs are on -14, -16 and -30 points is worth a second, or several looks, so much so I’ve saved a copy.

    In reply to

    It seems the points deduction has brought together the Luton fanbase. Over 7000 there [yesterday], hopefully they will stick with them. I have a feeling they may get away with it and if not they will have a well supported and successful season in the Conference next year.

    Oxford United, another club that had been playing in the top flight not all that long ago, averaged 6,357 at home in 2006-07, their first season in the Football Conference. Two seasons later, they are still there, and have started the new campaign with a 0-3 defeat at the hands of newly promoted Barrow.

    Big crowds would not guarantee an instant return to the Football League.

    It would be strange to see Oxford United and Luton Town, both League Cup winners in the 1980s, in the Conference next season.

    If Oxford United were “the first former winners of a major trophy to be relegated from the league”, Luton Town would be the second.

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