Luton’s wheel of misfortune


It had taken the best part of 6 months to co-ordinate a busy schedule of lunch dates in order to free up a slot, however at 11.00 am on the morning of Saturday 7th May 2011 the FA’s disciplinary committee finally arrived at Soho Square to consider the outcome of the QPR case. There was a real sense of excitement in the air, as today the committee would finally get the chance to spin the Wheel of Misfortune! The completeley clueless, arbitary and idiotic means for determining the punishments for breaches of the FA’s regulations.

Clearly on this occasion, the committee had several attempts at spinning the wheel – waiting until a sufficiently pathetic punishment would triumph. Mr Bernstein was delighted to award QPR with a token financial penalty thus not serving to incite Mr Paladini into bankrolling his army of lawyers into a prolonged and expensive lawsuit. The F.A’s bank balance remains the priority over ensuring clubs compete on a level playing field after all. We can all now breathe a sigh of relief at another job well done!

Interestingly the F.A proclaim that ‘it is the collective responsibility of everyone in football to create a FAIR, safe and enjoyable environment in which the game can take place.’  I’m glad the feeble cretins at the FA continue to strive to lead by example!

For their crimes, QPR have been rewarded with promotion to the Premier League, a slap on the wrist and a meagre fine – which pails into insignificance in comparison to the riches this club will gain for entering the top flight of English football.  For similar offences, Luton Town were effectively evicted from the football league. How on earth can such inconsistent decision making possibly be considered as fair? We are now surely witnessing unprecedented levels of incompetence in this disgrace of a governing body.

Welcome to Soho Square

 Let’s consider and compare the cases:

QPR 2011

  • Found guilty of using unregistered agents and bringing the game into disrepute
  • Current owners are responsible for the offence
  • Total of £875,000 fines with the club warned as to its future conduct

Luton Town 2008

  • Found guility of making payments to agents through the clubs holding company
  • Owners responsible had left the club with the new owners raising the irregularities to the FA’s attention
  • 10 point deduction and £50,000 fine ultimately leading to the clubs relegation from the football league

The F.A’s decision making process is clearly influenced by the offending clubs financial ability to fight a protracted legal battle. Let’s not forget that the Buffons at Soho Square had sat on the QPR issue for over 6 months only bothering to reach a decision 3 hours before kick off of the final game of the season. The timing of the announcement showed a complete lack of respect for the other clubs in and around QPR and risked turning the playoffs into a complete farce! The way in which this case was handled was a total embarrassment and it should be the F.A put before a tribunal defending charges of bringing the game into disrepute.

As ever the body running (ruining) our game continues to cherry pick lower league football clubs to make an example out of whilst imposing gutless sanctions on higher profile teams. It is no wonder that this organisation is the laughing stock of Europe.

If egg chasing wasn’t so mind numbingly dull I would consider defecting, as it is I will continue to support my beloved Luton Town in the hope that we make our long overdue return to the Football League on May 21st at Eastlands. Who knows maybe the Hatters will even begin next season on +10 points if the 2020 consortium challenge the verdict of the QPR case and win – I won’t hold my breath on that one though.

By Mark Watts – Luton Town fan – @wattsinho

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One Response to Luton’s wheel of misfortune

  1. tombodell says:

    Good read. I’d never really considered the unerring similarities between the two, in fact I’d always felt that there were greater parallels to be drawn between the West Ham affair and the QPR one.

    As ever it smacks of ‘big clubs’ getting ‘preferential decisions’. I have no doubt that had Luton been in the Premier League or knocking on the door when all this happened they too would have been handed a nothing fine and that would have been that.

    At the end of the day it’s the fans who get punished for the greed and crass management of the owners and directors. Good luck in the Play-off final, I may be a Watford fan but you don’t deserve to be down there and having a dormant rivalry is no fun!

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