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Page last updated at 14:56 GMT, Thursday, 5 June 2008 15:56 UK

Why the Hatters aren't too happy

By Nick Owen
Luton Town's prospective new chairman and BBC TV presenter

I have to say, first of all, that all of us who have the good of Luton Town at heart are shattered at the Football Association's decision to hand out a 10-point deduction for next season.

Nick Owen
Why hit little old Luton with a 10-point deduction when the regulation they have transgressed is a mere technicality, with no advantage to any individual or the club?

As the prospective new owners of the club, we really didn't expect to be punished for something that clearly is no fault of our own.

We and our fellow supporters are the ones who are made to suffer.

The cornerstone of our bid to take over the club has been honesty and transparency and I believe we have behaved impeccably throughout this disciplinary process.

The administrator pleaded guilty to the charges, with our support, bearing in mind the long-standing club secretary, Cherry Newbery, had had the courage two years ago today to tell the FA of her concerns at what was happening.

If she hadn't done so, would the FA be any the wiser now?

What message does this send out to any other dedicated employees who are concerned about activities at their clubs?

We made a plea for a suspended sentence to show how seriously the FA viewed the charges, but to avoid making innocent people suffer.

606: DEBATE
hatter28
Compare this with West Ham. They breached the rule book and appeared to create an advantage on the field of play.

Although they received a fine, they were not docked points.

Why hit little old Luton with a 10-point deduction when the regulation they have transgressed is a mere technicality, with no advantage to any individual or the club?

We feel we have become a soft target. Kicked when we are down.

We went into administration last November after the then owner turned down an offer from my colleagues to take a major stake in the company, which would have saved the day.

He dismissed our offer. We lost most of our team and had 10 points docked.

As a result, we suffered relegation for the second successive season.

Mick Harford
Boss Mick Harford's squad regeneration is unaffected by the ruling (Getty)
Now we are in the bottom league, hammered with this FA penalty and awaiting a further sanction next week when we, hopefully, emerge from administration.

If Leeds are a precedent, then we will be handed a 15-point deduction. A total of 35 points docked in seven months.

Isn't that a trifle harsh? We think so.

We are considering an appeal to the FA over the severity of the penalty, but this will cost a lot of money.

Obviously, it would have to come from somewhere and that is likely to be the area of the budget we had planned to increase considerably in the coming years ....the youth development programme.

Whatever the outcome of these tortuous issues, we will stand firm and turn things round

An own goal, I think, both for us and the FA.

Meanwhile, I must stress that those of us at the heart of LTFC2020 are still utterly committed to turning things round, however victimised we seem to be.

I personally have been going to Kenilworth Road for 50 years now and my passion for the club grows with every passing year.

My three sons are equally devoted and travel the length of the country to follow the team, whatever league we are playing in.

They have been coming with me since they were little more than toddlers. They take me now!

Whatever the outcome of these tortuous issues, we will stand firm and turn things round.

I am confident our wonderful fans will stand right behind us too. And, I can assure you, we are deeply grateful for that.

Nick Owen was speaking to BBC Sport's Ged Scott


see also
Timetable set for Luton Town sale
13 Dec 07 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts


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