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Thirty Point Deduction For Luton Town FC


Luton face likely relegation to the Blue Square Conference and possible extinction after the Football League deducted them a total of 30 points. They would probably have to get 80 points next season to survive, as many as Rochdale got to reach the play offs. Many fans think that the penalty is harsh, but the League is insisting that 'rules is rules'. The Hatters were handed an initial ten-point deduction by the FA last month after they were found guilty of 15 misconduct charges involving payment to agents. They received a further 20 point deduction for failing to agree a Company Voluntary Arrangement. Revenue and Customs refused to accept a cut in the money that it was owed while 'football creditors' - the players and other clubs - are paid in full, as Football League rules require. Moreover, the club has been asked to sign a letter relinquishing its right of appeal and was ordered to give an undertaking that it would budget to spend an extra £500,000 so that unsecured creditors would receive 16 pence in the pound. One of the Luton directors, Stephen Browne, has accused the Football League of punishing the club for mistakes made by previous owners. 'They are trying to push Luton Town out of existence.'

The Football League has followed the precedent it set with Leeds United by increasing the ten point deduction for going into administration. Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney said, 'When a club goes into administration it sheds its debts and it gets a competitive advantage over the other clubs who are playing in its division. They clear their debts while other clubs have to pay their bills. We have to send a message out to all clubs that they have to be run in a sensible and prudent way. You have to bear in mind that this is the third time that Luton have gone into administration in the past ten years.'