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Page last updated at 18:46 GMT, Monday, 13 April 2009 19:46 UK

Harford blames past Luton regime

Luton boss Mick Harford
Luton were unable to recover from a 30-point deduction

Luton boss Mick Harford blamed the previous regime at the club following the Hatters' relegation from the Football League on Easter Monday.

Luton's draw with Chesterfield, coupled with a Grimsby win, sealed the fate of the Hatters, who suffered a 30-point deduction at the start of the season.

"I said to the players it's 100% not their fault," said Harford.

"The past incumbents of this club are to blame. The penalty points were a massive burden we could not overcome."

Harford did not find out his side's fate until he got back to dressing room and learnt that Grimsby's 2-0 win at Notts County was enough to confirm their relegation.

"I found out at five to five," he said.

The benchmark is Doncaster Rovers. They went down a few years ago - now they're flying high in the Championship

Luton boss Mick Harford

"I looked at the clock in the dressing room and said to the players 'remember this time. Five to five on 13th April. This is the rebirth of Luton Town Football Club'.

"We will go forward, we will kick-on. There are lots of people worse off than Luton Town Football Club.

"The benchmark is Doncaster Rovers. They went down a few years ago, came back up, got a new stadium and now they're flying high in the Championship. And that's how we've got to respond."

However, Harford admitted it would be difficult to keep Luton's squad together following relegation.

"If I was another manager I'd be ringing me up," he said.

"We've got some good players. We try and play the right way and I'm sure there will be people knocking on the door for our players.


"If a Championship club comes in and offers the right sort of money you can't stand in their way and that's always been the club's policy."

Harford praised the attitude of the players, who still secured a trophy this season with a 3-2 win over Scunthorpe at Wembley last week to win the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

"I'm disappointed to be in the Conference and out of League football, but these players are not non-league players," he said.

"They are winners. We've got a group of winners. They've won a trophy this season.

"There are millions and millions of players who have never won a trophy and this group of players did.

"They are winners and deservedly so."

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see also
Luton 0-0 Chesterfield
13 Apr 09 |  League Two
Notts County 0-2 Grimsby
13 Apr 09 |  League Two
Luton 3-2 Scunthorpe (aet)
05 Apr 09 |  Football
Luton Town fans still upbeat
14 Apr 09 |  England

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