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Last Updated: Monday, 23 June, 2003, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Newell wins Luton election

Mike Newell
Newell has signed on a two-year deal
Mike Newell has won the election to become Luton Town's next manager.

Newell, viewed by many as an outsider for the job, was involved in a two-horse race against the club's former manager Joe Kinnear after Steve Cotterill pulled out of the running.

Newell recently left Hartlepool who decided not to retain his services after he took over the side when they were top of Division Three last season and, although he guided them to promotion, failed to win the title.

How the vote went
Season ticket holders - Joe Kinnear
Players - Joe Kinnear
Club board - Mike Newell
Shareholders - Mike Newell
General fans - Mike Newell

The club did not view Newell as the man to take them forward but it seems Luton have other ideas and voted for the ex-Everton striker ahead of Kinnear.

The casting decision eventually came down to the general fans with Newell having just four more votes than his rival.

Kinnear left the Second Division side after a new mystery consortium took over at Kenilworth Road a month ago, but supporters were furious at what they believed to be the sacking of their manager and his assistant Mick Harford

The club's new owners, headed by designate chief executive John Gurney, insist they did not sack Kinnear and came up with the unique idea of letting the fans vote for their choice as manager.

I not only have to win over the supporters, I have to win over the players as well
Mike Newell

"The vote was much closer than we anticipated," said Gurney.

"I would now make an appeal for anyone connected the club to get behind the club."

A shortlist was drawn up before the choice boiled down to the three names of Kinnear, Cotterill and Newell.

Cotterill is expected to take up a post elsewhere and withdrew from the race before a decision had been reached.

Newell said: "The supporters will have a big say in this club and I've got to win them over. The only way you do that is with results.

"But I not only have to win over the supporters, I have to win over the players as well.

"I can only do that by being honest with them and proving I'm capable of doing the job."

He added: "I think it's a natural thing for the players to have stayed loyal to Joe and I understand that fully.

"I think if the same thing had happened to me at Hartlepool I would have been guaranteed the players' vote as well."


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