A half-hour or so jaunt down the M1, east of London, is Luton. It's a handsome town of roughly 200,000 inhabitants that while it lost many of its buildings to the air-raids of World War II, many architectural reminders of it history are still well preserved. For a visitor, who ventures to Luton it might be hard to describe simply other that realizing why many would want to call it home.
As you head out east towards Dunstable in hub-bub of the Bury Park you'll find Kenilworth Road, the home for the Luton Town. The Hatters, in reference to the towns history in the hat-making industry, were formed in the spring of 1885 and quite obviously woven in the fabric of the game. Through the years they have a had many ups and downs but as always they have represented the good people of Luton honourably. In the end this is what I wish to stress because through the trials and tribulations, the ups and the downs, Luton Town is not a "franchise" but a part of the Luton community.
This past spring I began writing of the Luton Town (and Bournemouth) situation and in-truth warning of some of the dire consequences they face with the inevitable series of points deductions that would likely being imposed upon them. Sadly upon tumbling into League Two, they have now been given a further penalty and must start the season thirty points in the red. The sad fall of Luton Town, a Premier League promotion threat only a few seasons ago, continues painfully on and in consideration of this, their fate seems sealed to another round of relegation barring Rotherham and Bournemouth aren't punished equally or they play at a table-winning rate.
The ridiculous notion of penalizing a team in financial problems is a vestige of the past and needs to be eliminated, unless of course, a fire-sale on heritage is the main objective. While the governing bodies of the sport bang the drum that "they are protecting the sport" what precisely is it "protecting" when it is injecting a death sentence in a already trying situation? Do the regulating authorities swoop in to protect teams when they become toys for billionaires or do they merely turn a blind-eye to the precious little dreams of the bon-vivant crowd while turning the backs on who truly supports the game. Do they audit multi-tiered international corporations and question them on cross-border debt instruments and debt into the hundreds of millions? The answer is obviously a resounding "no" and while the fans are left to bleed out in the streets, the game suffers and sporting heritage gasps.
However let me state this isn't the end of the story. I know to many, the death rattle can be heard but Luton will fight on. It's the nature of the town for they learned long ago that they will never surrender and you can sure as hell bet they will be back. However maybe one-day someone in their well-appointed offices will get "it" as sport echoes society and equally sport has the ability to teach great lessons in society. Sadly when you destroy the heritage in sport, eventually there is no heritage left in the sport.