Luton in the PL? That would be a miracle to eclipse Leicester’s title win.

Published: Monday, 17 April 2023

If my beloved Super Sky Blues don’t make it back to the PL - I have only one wish for this season - that Luton Town do.

I’m dreaming - just a little bit. It’s not beyond possible, more improbable I have to admit. But, we’re in the mix. For a couple of hours on Saturday we were actually in the play-off places.

I won’t bore you with too much detail because you’ll switch off, but what a job Mark Robins has done at Coventry. When we dropped into League Two in 2017 (the lowest point of a decade of mis-management by previous owners SISU) I honestly felt we were heading out of the League altogether. I couldn’t see any other outcome. They were desperate times. Mark Robins came to the rescue. We will forever be in his debt. He deserves a crack at the PL.

But - to return to a story that I’ve written about previously. Imagine being a Luton fan at the start of the 2008/09 season. Before that campaign the FA hit them with a 10-point deduction and a £50,000 fine for irregularities in the club’s transfer dealings - which wasn’t the fault of the consortium that was trying to buy the club at that time.

They were docked a further 20-points for failing to exit administration properly and crashed out of the league at the end of that season - despite winning 56 points in the campaign.

I know a lot of this because my old TV-am mate Nick Owen is a big Luton fan. We’ve talked often about the injustices of what happened to Luton and I blogged on this same subject back in March 2022 before Luton’s failed Championship play-off bid.

Owen was appointed chairman by the LTFC2020 consortium that took his club over during the turbulence and he did a magnificent job, not just helping keep it alive, but steering it better times again, before he quit the role in 2017.

Three times Luton made the play-offs whilst in the Conference/National League. Three times they failed to make it back into the FL.

John Still eventually got them up in 2013. The recently maligned Nathan Jones (his troubles at Soton were of his own making) picked up the mantle and got them out of League Two.

Club legend Mick Harford got them promoted from League One after Jones had left for an unsuccessful spell at Stoke. Jones eventually returned and built the basis of the squad that Rob Edwards now has sitting third.

The reason for the history lesson is so that I could give the above heroes credit for what they achieved - including Jones, who despite his troubles at Soton, is clearly a good coach and will return somewhere soon.

Now Luton are again on the cusp of a taking a place in a PL that they voted for in 1992 but never got to play in because they were relegated before it was formed - another reason that I hope they get up if we don’t. I know. I know - it’s a long shot for Coventry. 🤞

It’s something of an irony that Edwards is in the position that he is as well. Remember he started the season as boss of Luton’s arch-rivals Watford - but was sacked after just 10 games. The mad owners of that club are once again on a third manager of their season and sit 12th - two places lower than they were when they sacked Edwards. Kama. Lovely.

I read that the PL want to install four new cameras next season to help the accuracy of off-side decisions. Why? What’s wrong with the AI technology successfully used at the WC in Qatar and now in Serie A?

Do you know what - you could add 100 cameras and Stockley Park would still find a way to fuck things up. It’s not cameras we need - but operators in that bunker that can actually do their job properly.

One blunder after another has followed this season. Ask Brighton and Wolves. And Newcastle. And West Ham - in fact, all of the clubs.

How on earth did Spurs’ equaliser against Bournemouth stand? Kane was clearly off-side and interfering with the keepers view. I guarantee you that goal doesn’t get given at the other end. I was so pleased Bournemouth went on to win the game. They deserved to.

And why didn’t Forest get a pen v United? Maguire clearly handles in the box. We asked the matchday centre why a pen wasn’t given - ‘because there was traffic that impeded Maguire’s arm movement’ they said. Yea - there were two other United players around him. What nonsense. It should’ve be been a pen. It might then have been a very different game.

I’m genuinely sorry to see Steve Cooper struggling. He’s a good guy working in a madhouse atmosphere created by another self-absorbed owner. Sorry - but it was oh so predictable. I know I upset Forest fans by pointing this out at the start of the season and I got hammered - but….? 🤷‍♂️.

It’s to be hoped that the signings that were made have clauses in contracts that allow for relegation. If not - part 2 of my prediction will come true and the club will be in administration in the Championship. Evangelos Marinakis - and his chaos - will be a distant but expensive memory.

Not so many pictures coming out of the Arsenal dressing room now is there? The celebration police could very well be right after all.

I promised Liverpool I would point out an inaccuracy in the blog last week. They haven’t yet been fined for failing to control their players following the 4-1 defeat to Man City and they were only hit with a fine of £25,000 for the same offence v Everton - £15,000 less than the Toffees.

And finally - I’m delighted that assistant Constantine Hatzidakis was cleared of any wrong doing following the altercation with Andy Robertson. I think Liverpool missed a trick here. They should’ve got Robertson to issue a statement asking for the matter to be laid to rest before it was investigated. They would’ve won a lot of friends by doing so.