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Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Tuesday, 14 April 2009 17:20 UK

Owen hurt by Luton's relegation

Nick Owen
Owen is chairman of the Luton Town 20/20 consortium

Luton chairman Nick Owen has revealed his pain at seeing the club lose their Football League status.

Luton were relegated to the Blue Square Premier after they were held to a 0-0 draw with Chesterfield on Monday.

Owen told BBC Three Counties Radio: "It's unthinkable that we can be in such a terrible position.

"We have battled hard and the players have been absolutely superb but it has happened and I have to say that at this moment I am absolutely devastated."

Luton started the season with a 30-point deduction imposed by the Football League for financial irregularities at the club.

Owen added: "I'm distraught. It's an awful feeling but there has been so much support from the fans and everyone I talk to.

"They are behind this club so strongly you just feel that we have to dust ourselves down, get over it, and come back.

"We should be comfortably mid-table. If we didn't start with the points reduction we would have played a different type of football at times, so we would have been even better and we would have amassed even more points.

"When you go out having started on minus 30 points, your mindset must be a bit different. Having said that, I think we have had a pretty useful season bearing in mind we had to build the squad pretty quickly after coming out of administration, signing 11 players."

And Owen pointed to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy success as proof that there is enough quality in Luton's squad for them to bounce back from the bitter disappointment of relegation.

The absolute exhilaration of the win at Wembley was so special and I will take that with me to my dying day - but I suppose I'll take this as well, being the chairman of a club that has been relegated for the third consecutive season

Luton chairman Nick Owen

"We've got a really good, solid squad with a lot of talent in it right now.

"A week ago we played magnificently at Wembley to beat Scunthorpe - a team that is going for a place in the Championship - and that shows our quality really.

"The absolute exhilaration of the win at Wembley was so, so special, I will take that with me to my dying day.

"I suppose I'll take this as well, being the chairman of a club that has been relegated for the third consecutive season.

"The odds were against us, and the whole of the football world is with us. It does help and the supporters are all saying 'we are with you, we will be here next season.'"

Owen also said he hoped that manager Mick Harford will stay with the club, even though his contract expires at the end of the season.

"I am sure he'll want to stay. He has started a job having had his hands tied behind his back. He has done a fantastic job keeping up morale, putting together a good squad and never wavering.

"We feel the same. We have got lots of faith in him, he has a lot of faith in us. We'll all stay together and that includes the squad, I hope."

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