New Luton chief Graeme Jones was the only man for the top job at Kenilworth Road according to chief executive Gary Sweet.
The former Swansea, Everton, Wigan and Belgium assistant was the first and only name on the Hatters’ wish-list once previous boss Nathan Jones opted to move to Stoke City in January.
However, the main sticking point was that Jones already had a job, number two to Darren Moore at West Bromwich Albion, and wanted to honour his commitment until the end of the season.
Sweet was quick to commend his loyalty and had been happy to wait until the summer, but Jones’ early exit from the Hawthorns changed that.
The CEO said: “The day after Nathan departed, we contacted Graeme and West Brom, we didn’t contact anyone else, he was the sole candidate that we wanted to speak to immediately.
“From the day we spoke when Graeme said ‘I’d be very, very interested in the job, but I can’t take the job, because I’m committed,’ it basically meant he was more valuable to us.
“It meant it was right for us, as you know our feelings on this that we didn’t really want to disrupt another club’s season, especially in the middle of a transfer window, and being in a position where we had to find a new manager at that point, it didn’t sit well with us.
“Thank God for Mick (Harford) as we had someone in the building that could take the reins immediately.
“If we hadn’t had Mick, or somebody to do that, then I don’t think we’d be in the position we are now, for sure.
"Graeme was adamant he was going to be loyal to his contract and loyal to Darren too and that is something we really appreciate.
“After getting appropriate permission from West Brom, because he had a termination period, we sat down with Graeme, with the view that he would start in the summer, and Mick was a part of the process in that.
"It worked out in a way really well, but you can tell that he’s an honourable man and we quite like that.”