A football story to warm the heart.

Published: Monday, 21 March 2022

There is something very special going on in the Championship and let’s be the first to talk about it (as usual - oh how my detractors hate that). 😂😂.

Eight years ago this month #Luton Town were losing Conference Premier League games to Braintree and Woking. Eight years. It’s incredible what’s happened since. They’re now on the cusp of completing one of the most remarkable football stories of all time. There’s some work to do yet, but right now they’re third in the Championship and heading for the play-offs. If Coventry don’t make it - and that looks unlikely now - I hope with all my heart that Luton do.

A brief history lesson. Luton have never been far from controversy down the years. Who will ever forget their former chairman, David Evans, banning away fans? If you don’t know - Evans was a Tory MP always weaseling and this was an attempt to impress his boss - Margaret Thatcher. She loved it. Football people didn’t. We were right.

John Gurney - another mad Hatter and X-owner - distinguished himself with a series of bad decisions that led to Luton being docked 30 points by the FA for financial irregularities dating back ‘several years’ in 2009. Gurney wasn’t to blame for all their problems - but the upshot was that Luton were relegated out of the Football League.

A lot happened on the playing side as well around this time - with managers coming and going - but let’s not get into that.

I must admit to a teeny conflict of interest here. My old mate, Nick Owen, a Hatter since his schoolboy days, was chairman during the non-league years - and during the initial fight back - before stepping down in 2017.

I have always argued that what happened to Luton was grossly unfair. The people running the club, when they were punished, had nothing to do with previous misdemeanours. As usual - the only people who really suffered were the fans.

The journey back hasn’t been easy. They contested the promotion play-offs three times in four years before John Still finally got them promoted to League Two.

It’s been quite a ride.  Nathan Jones takes enormous credit for most of it - and Luton deserve credit too for taking him back after he’d walked out for an ill-fated stint at Stoke.

I’ve heard rumours of the PL not allowing them to play at Kenilworth Road if they get up - because it doesn’t meet modern day safety standards. Rubbish. Leave them alone. Whatever success they’ve had since that scandalous 30 point deduction has been hard fought. Good luck to you guys. Enjoy.

I’m also pleased to see that Karl Robinson has got Oxford on the brink of the play-offs again in League One.

Robinson has done the hard yards in the lower leagues. He was once described as ‘the next big thing’,  but has never been given a chance at a higher level for some reason. He’s in his 40’s now - so is no spring chicken - but he knows what he’s doing. Having guided Oxford to the play-offs in each of his two full seasons in charge - he’s at it again. I hope Oxford make it this time and that Robinson eventually gets his reward with a bigger club (sorry Jim. Jim Rosenthal - Oxford super fan!)

I’m already looking forward to Pep’s semi-final with Jurgen. Patrick must be delighted that Palace are there at the expense of his old adversary Frank. Well done Thomas. Wow - what a job he’s doing at Chelsea - despite all the problems. Incidentally, who gets the money from s/f ticket sales? What a mess govt has made of Chelsea.

Good to see that Antonio has got Spurs motoring again. David’s boys didn’t really get going Sunday did they?

Brendan will be chuffed to bits with Leicester’s win - which leaves Brentford 15th - exactly where the mathematicians at Thomas’s club said they would finish. Right now - that looks most likely.

Steven can’t be happy with Villa’s capitulation Friday, but it’s quite a run Mikel’s boys are on.

Daft isn’t it? Daft if we start using the first names of all our coaches. Please - let’s stop this pathetic grovelling and fawning to ‘Pep’. It’s Guardiola.

None of us know him well enough to refer to him by his first name. His team play lovely football - but he isn’t some kind of messiah. He’s a football coach. His name is Guardiola. Enough of ‘Pep’ eh? It gets on my nerves.