Friday, January 11, 2008

Toilet Flushed!

As of this morning Luton Town FC has reached a new low: manager Kevin Blackwell has given notice to walk in 4 weeks along with staff.

Blackwell's abandonment of the hatters is absolutely understandable. Their best players have been sold. Ten points have been deducted and no one has been paid in weeks.

The fact still stands that Luton Town probably have the shittest ground in the whole country. It may be a shithole but Kenilworth Rd has its place in English football history and folklore. It has character. If you have ever been to Luton, you will know that once you have laughed yourself silly at entering the away stand between two rows of terrace houses, you get to point in disbelief as you mount the stairs to your standing space behind the goal.

You can actually peer right into 3 or 4 houses! The occupants [depending on their mood] wave back as they have their lunch or watch TV. Fans Chant "Who are ya" and "What's for tea?"

You could not make this stuff up.

This is English football at its best and worst. Long before the Romans and the Gilletts of the Premier League, there was Luton Town. They were in the top flight and they hosted top-flight teams on a weekly basis. The possibility that Luton could fold and cease to exist is just another sign of grass roots football being flushed down the bog.

Meanwhile, the very day Blackwell announced that he is to walk, leaving the team manager less and down to its footballing bones, Chelsea announced that they have added 5 million to their offer for French cry baby Anelka adding another chapter to the strikers "I played for them all" biography. Luton fans must feel sick. I know if it was Norwich I would be destroyed!

At this point the fact that none of the top clubs has even contemplated donating a few quid is a fucking disgrace. They have all watched Luton sell the captain, the top striker and the young talent while working the phones to bring in multi-million pound players. Championship sides have been clambering to nab the Luton players for bargain basement prices.

Liverpool were asked to donate the gate money from their FA cup tie with Luton last week and blankly refused. A day earlier new plans for their super new stadium were released. Fabulous new pissers, TVs everywhere and facilities that every fan would dream of. It's a far cry from Luton's seat-less stands, portacabin-style boxes than run down the side of the pitch, the leaky toilets and the obstructed views.

Many teams have recently taken a financial gamble and found themselves in trouble. Luton, however, have been on the slide for a while.

Surely the fair thing to do in this new world of big money owners would be to distribute the TV money in a way that would benefit the financial strugglers like Luton, and the other grassroots, small-town teams that make the FA Cup so magical.

The prize for a spot in the Premier League these days is 60 million quid, making the Championship playoff final the biggest money game in the world. As the rich get richer, the smaller clubs are forced to sell big and risk their futures.

The game is getting away from the small towns. We risk having an NFL style 32-team league in 50-100 years if we are not careful and with it go the local identities, rivalries and passion that make the Football league and the FA Cup what it currently is.

So Chelsea fans and Liverpool supporters: over the next few weeks as your giants of the game buy, spare a thought for the Luton fans who are sure to cry!

- Bigus.


The Fan's Attic said...

Is there any chance the FA could force some sort of revenue sharing plan on all of the teams? Nothing exorbitant, but something.

Bigus Dickus said...

Problem is that give teams more money and they may waste it. You can also abuse going into administration like those scumbags Ipswich did. They dodged their debts and mad a mockery of the system. Maybe a fund for situations like this decided upon by a board?

The Fan's Attic said...

Yeah, you're right...just look at what the Tampa Bay Rays, Florida Marlins, Royals do. They are shit squads that don't spend money but still rake in the shared revenue which allows them to stay above board. Good for them but bad for the sport.

The NY Kid said...

This probably needs a "Making fun of Scousers" tag. That FA Cup tie is all the more embarassing given Luton's current situation.

The Fan's Attic said...

let's not dwell on the past.