Date:Sunday January 21 2007
Well we have sunk to a new low for the season, and supporters are possibly at their lowest ebb since the dark days of Mr Gurney. Without being privy to the entire goings on behind the scenes, it is difficult to understand what exactly has gone wrong.
Leaks about possible new investors and potential take-overs have come to nothing, and the man lauded for stepping up to the plate to save the club from Gurney`s antics is now the subject of abuse and ridicule. Is that fair?
Bill Tomlins has never said that he was in a position to invest large amounts of his own money. He was a driving force in the takeover from the receivers and a long-term fan of the club. His efforts to bring in investment have yielded no fruit to this point, but with Luton Town you learn never to say never, as well as never to say certainly!
Attempts to relocate the club have foundered time and time again, and once more, it is difficult to speculate when one does not have all the information. Such information is not readily disseminated to the club's customers under the old guise of confidentiality. However, it would be nice if the fans were appreciated enough at least to keep them informed generally as to the steps being taken to move this club forward. The club have been very poor in their communication with their fans.
The local councils are intransigent in their lack of effort to assist the club`s aims. Other clubs in other towns and cities seem to have no problems relocating, but with Luton Town it has always been a problem.
Junction 10 was a problem because of the lack of infrastructure, then there were the pylons to move, then there was the airport`s expansion plan and also some political infighting with the Watson-Challisses. The fact that Mr Watson-Challis poured his money into the club, covering trading losses and providing transfer funds for the manager,for a very long time, depleting his family`s inheritance in the process, seemed to have been forgotten, when he, and/or his wife was accused of trying to make capital out of the land at J10. Well, didn`t he deserve some reward for his earlier generosity to the club? It is not as though some landowner and/or developer, whosoever they may be, is not going to make serious money from the deal. I have no problem in the Watson-Challises recouping some of their investment.
Then when it appeared that J10 was a dead duck, J12 was mooted. Again, a previous investor in the club owns the land, and stood to make some profit out of the deal. However, his package was extremely generous and favourable to the club. Again an idea was met with accusations of 'money for the boys` etc, and with the customary council and NIMBY opposition.
If Arsenal can relocate in the heart of North London, it is ludicrous to say that there are no suitable sites in the Luton area. A look at Google Earth shows that there is ample land, which could be made available, if the council wanted to help the club.
Personally, I feel that we, as supporters, have not done enough to make the council aware that it is a priority matter, to which they should help bring to a viable conclusion for all concerned. If they were inundated with letters of complaint, perhaps they would realise that their very positions, as councillors, could be under threat come the next elections.
On to the field of play:
It has been well documented that Luton has to operate on a small squad. It is not rocket science therefore to understand why every November Luton have a 'mare and compromise the success of their season, as soon as injury and the first 5 yellow card suspensions kick in.
We are told that we do not have to sell players, and that, in fact, there is money to spend on improving the squad, after the sale of Curtis Davies. Nicholls and Howard are allowed to leave under Mike Newell`s edict that he will stand in no player`s way if they are able to better themselves, and recently Vine and Edwards went in the same way, but bringing in several million pounds in the process.
This is all very well, but it gives out the message that, as soon as any Luton player looks like he can do a job, all and sundry can come and pillage the club of its assets, and then they do.
Mike`s foray into the transfer market brought in Warren Feeney, Sam Parkin and Adam Boyd, for a cool million between them, and Richard Langley. They are all capable players and should have been tremendous signings for the club. However, Feeney was not used in the role, which had made him such an appealing player to buy, and Parkin was unfortunately injured. Boyd, it has recently been divulged has been suffering from a blood disorder which has prevented his reaching full fitness until now.
In addition, long-term injuries and illness has ruled out Chris Coyne, Russ Perrett, Sol Davis, Paul Underwood, Kevin Foley, Markus Heikkinen, and Calvin Andrew. Now Warren Feeney and Leon Barnett are possibly out for a long while too.
All these misfortunes have had to be contended with, but still Luton play good football most of the time, and compete with the best, and were all the players available, they would be in a comfortable position in the table with the capability of a push for the play-offs.
The sales of Rowan Vine and Carlos Edwards may have been the suicidal acts which will ultimately take the Town back to League 1. If the sales were not enforced, then perhaps the players should have remained at the club until the injury situation was alleviated, but at least there is some time to bring in players before the transfer window closes, and no other player should be allowed to leave in this crisis situation
Matthew Spring will be another good signing in my opinion. He is a better player now than when he left and, as a playmaker, should provide some opportunities for the front men, if we have any left! In view of the fact that we are now in a relegation dogfight, whether Mike wants to acknowledge the fact or not, it is time that puerile whinging and bullying of player ceases, and that any player who pulls on the shirt is supported totally. Booing players who are not performing at their best is never going to make them play any better, but hearing the rousing support, which Luton`s fans are capable of giving, may just help their confidence and get the best out of them, and turn this nightmare season around.
Regarding making additions to the squad, I am concerned that Mike`s off the field activities in speaking out against agents may have compromised his ability to conclude deals with some of his targets, and the internal wrangling at the club will hardly have helped sell the club to potential players either. I believe it is time for him to get his head down, keep his opinions to himself and concentrate on the job in hand.
There are ten days left, to replace at least the players who have been sold, and to cover for the long term absentees, even if only in the shape of a couple of one month loans.
It is time for action. Failure to act now could condemn the club to relegation at a time when they can least afford it to happen: Action by the Council, the club, the players, the management and the supporters.
In the words of that well-known, well-versed football magnate Delia Smith - "Let`s be 'avin` you!"
Date:Sunday January 21 2007
Luton to Entertain Aston Villa (Friday May 17 2013)
Tyler`s Staying (Friday May 17 2013)
I Wish It Was Us! (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Favourites (Again)! (Monday May 13 2013)
Keeper Ranks Bolstered (Monday May 13 2013)
Nielson Finds New Club (Monday May 13 2013)
Welcome to the Mad World! (Monday May 13 2013)
I Felt Physically Sick! (Monday May 13 2013)
What a Difference a Year Makes (Friday May 10 2013)
Something to Look Forward To? (Wednesday May 8 2013)
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