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Last Updated: Monday, 9 June, 2003, 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK
Luton ponder Dons merger
Joe Kinnear
Gurney admits he made a mistake in sacking Kinnear
Luton's designate chief executive John Gurney has flagged up the possibility of buying or merging with First Division Wimbledon.

The Dons - placed in administration last week - are due to move to Milton Keynes for the start of next season, with games being played initially at the National Hockey Stadium.

Gurney said in a statement: "Should we buy them, merge them with Luton and play at Luton which would effectively buy a back-door promotion to Division One?

"If we decide that is what we want to do let's go and raise the money to do it.

"If it's a bad idea let's forget it and slog at winning a place in the First Division the hard way.

"We will approach the administrator to find out the terms, because it does no harm to ask the question."

Gurney has also insisted he would like to see Joe Kinnear and Mick Harford return to the club, even though they were sacked last month.

Since then, a nomination process has begun with supporters given the chance - via three stages of voting - to select Kinnear's replacement as manager.

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Gurney said: "We would love to have Joe and Mick back working with us to make a success of Luton. We made a mistake and we will do everything we can to get them back.

"We are, however, fully committed to the democratic election of the manager.

"The nomination process has now finished - and few would be surprised that Joe and Mick are slightly ahead of all the other candidates.

"Other nominations include Mike Newell, Terry Fenwick, Iain Dowie, Bruce Rioch, Nigel Clough, Jan Molby, Brian Stein, Paul Parker and John Hollins."

Meanwhile Luton director Yvonne Fletcher has resigned because of what she sees as the "chaos" engulfing the club.

Fletcher, a journalist with The Guardian, said in a statement: "With deep regret I have tendered my resignation as a director from the board of Luton Town.

"I feel my position has become completely untenable.

"I cannot continue to serve on the board while; the owners of the club are unknown; the ownership of, and plans for, the land at Junction 10 are unknown; the proposed make-up of a new board is unknown; and the plans for financing the club are unknown.

"The club's management seems to be in chaos with no professional leadership emerging from the business consortium which, we are led to believe, has bought the club from Mike Watson-Challis.

"Business is seemingly being conducted via website postings rather than through the usual commercial channels."


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