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Luton to face 30-point deduction

Luton will start next season on an unprecedented minus 30 points after a ruling by the Football League.

The Hatters had already been deducted 10 points by the Football Association after being found guilty of misconduct for paying agents via a third party.

And the company which will take over the club has now been told it must accept a further 20-point deduction in order to be allowed in the League.

The penalty came after Luton failed to satisfy the League's insolvency rules.

The combined 30-point deduction is the biggest in Football League history, giving Luton an extraordinarily difficult task in trying to avoid relegation for the third season in a row. Bookmakers have already made them 10-1 on favourites to drop down to the Blue Square Premier League.

But the club is appealing against the FA's 10-point deduction for financial irregularities in regard to its dealings with agents, with the case set to be heard next week.

The 20-point additional penalty related to the club's inability to agree a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) to exit administration, with the Football League pointing out that this is the third time in 10 years that Luton have been in such a position.

Once again a policy of honesty is not recognised at all by the footballing authorities who claim they want to clean up the game

LT2020 director Stephen Browne said the club was still being punished for the mistakes of the previous regime in charge at Kenilworth Road.

"We have tried to do everything openly and honestly and we placed our faith in the footballing authorities," said Browne, whose consortium is still in talks with the administrator.

"Obviously the very clear message from both the FA and the Football League is that doing such a thing is a total waste of time.

"Once again the faithful supporters are left high and dry and once again a policy of honesty is not recognised at all by the footballing authorities who claim they want to clean up the game."

But Football League chairman Brian Mawhinney said the board had little option but to take a strong line with Luton.

"The board's primary responsibility is to protect the integrity of their competitions," said Mahwinney.

"This often means making difficult decisions which require balancing the interests of fans, the club's creditors and the other teams in the League.

"We will continue to take that responsibility very seriously."

Browne said that the consortium, fronted by BBC presenter Nick Owen, would not give up despite the points deduction representing a serious setback.

"We will continue the fight by sticking to our principles of openness and honesty," he said.

"People who should, in theory at least, be protecting supporters will not bring us down.

"It's not a laughing matter any more, but even so we will continue to ensure that Luton have a solid and sustainable future, despite what the Football League do to us."


Oiy... thats quite a blow! Surely they can appeal? They'll probably win that (like the scum from Yorkshire) and face a lesser points deduction.

The fans and the players are the ones who have done nothing one, they're the ones who are going to suffer the most.

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Far too harsh. I think that if the 'law breakers' are now gone and it is a different group in charge now, then the punishment should be less, and the rest made as a suspended sentance for say...5 years.

That is the way to route out such wrong doings...not screwing Kerry Dixon's old club into the ground.

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I'm wondering if these Draconian punishments at lower league level are in any way testing the ground for the possible introduction of similar punishments in the higher leagues. Or is it just the same tactic of the powers that be flexing their puny little muscles and picking on those with least power and influence. Like when a club goes into admimistration as a last resort. So the Football League further punish this club by docking points, which will inevitably diminish any chance of promotion, increase chances of relegation, minimising opportunity to gain the revenue necessary for the club to get back on it's feet. A philosophy that could be summed up as:

Always kick a man when he's down. And kick him HARD just in case he gets up and kicks back.

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And there stands the hypocrisy. They broke the rules therefore they have to take the punishment. That they are where they are doesn't come into it.

To be honest, Geezer, I was just taking the mickey out of Lofty. Sorry!

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Yes, I resemble Mrs Geezer - can't keep my mouth shut. Loved that line! Still trying to think up a good retaliation.

But on a serious note, I don't really understand where the hate-mob get their energy from. Hatred is SO exhausting. At my age I have to save my energy for better activities.

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Seriously? We can't have serious 'ere. Whatever next. Ok. If T*ttenh*m or Liverscum were ever docked 20 or 30 points, I'd laugh myself silly. Of course I would. Whether it was fair or not.

I honestly can't see that docking points on that scale is an appropriate punishment. And yes, if I'm to be even more honest, the same applies to the punishment meted out to Leeds. And also that there's more than a little bit of self-interest here - it hasn't happened yet, but I've heard more calls for Chelsea to be docked points than any other team in any of the other leagues. Whether it be for tapping up, players misbehaving on or off the pitch - even alleged racist chanting at Stamford Bridge - "it's the only way you can hurt them", they scream, "money doesn't mean anything, they've got to be taught a lesson". As you say geezer:

And there stands the hypocrisy. They broke the rules therefore they have to take the punishment. That they are where they are doesn't come into it

But it's not hypocrisy at all. As I said, I don't believe it's an appropriate punishment - neither would it be appropriate for Chelsea to be docked points because we're at the opposite end of the financial scale.

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All the posts have been referring to the 30 points being deducted as if it related to one crime but the fact of the matter is there were two separate instances. They had already been deducted 10 points for financial irregularities for which no one here batted an eyelid and then subsequently around nearly two months later they are deducted a further 20 points for further breaches so what in effect everyone here is bemoaning is the 20 point deduction rather than the initial 10 points (which is being appealed by the way). They knew the penalty which would befall them for the second crime and failed to meet the requirements. They only have themselves to blame. If you don't want to face the penalty don't do the crime on the first place.

What also has to happen here though is the impossible, that is the FA must be consistent in the penalties they dish out no matter who they are or what their standing is in the game. I suspect it is this that is getting under people's skin because deep down we know such a penalty would not be installed against the Mancs or the Scousers or for that matter probably even us as they seem to prefer to hit us with financial penalties which mean diddly squat to our finances.

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