No 'tantrums' for Hatters boss if finances dictate he can't make a signing as he insists Championship clubs 'envy' Luton's business model

Town chief on board with every decision made by the hierarchy at Kenilworth Road

By Mike Simmonds
Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 6:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 6:37 pm
Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet and chairman David Wilkinson at a recent game
Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet and chairman David Wilkinson at a recent game

Luton boss Nathan Jones won’t be throwing any ‘tantrums’ even if he sometimes fails to bring in the players he wants to due to financial reasons.

The Hatters chief missed out on the signing of Sheffield United midfielder Luke Freeman on transfer deadline day, as even though admitting his former Yeovil team-mate wanted to come, confirmed Town couldn't afford to do the deal, the ex-Arsenal youngster joining Millwall instead.

Town did move goalkeeper Simon Sluga on for an undisclosed fee to prevent the Croatian club record signing leaving for nothing in the summer with his contract up.

It wasn't an issue for Jones though, who recently signed a new long-term deal at Kenilworth Road, and is fully behind every decision the club make.

When asked if Sluga's departure had been done to try and recoup some money following a season in which Town saw their income hit dramatically with no match-day revenue after supporter were banned from attending grounds due to Covid restrictions, Jones said: “I don’t think it’s quite that.

"We’ve got a responsibility to balance the books.

"We’ve got a wonderful board, we haven’t got a Sheik that can finance it with billions, but, what we have got is a real good board that back the club.

"Then we’ve got processes and an understanding of what we can spent and what we can’t.

“We generate money from buying, producing, developing and selling and that’s stood us in good stead.

“We’ve got a wonderful model here and it’s a model that everyone’s aligned with and onboard with.

“So, when I miss out on Luke Freeman, there’s no tantrums because it just doesn’t fit in to what we do.

“But, when we’re able to bring in Jordan Clark and develop him into something special, that’s brilliant and his value has gone through the roof.

“That’s the type of player that we bring in here, the Elijah's (Adebayo), Jack Stacey's, James Justin's, Isaac Vassell's and all those people.

“Then we have good ones here that have been here and we’ve got major value from, like Pelly-Ruddock (Mpanzu), and it’s a wonderful model."

Jones also believes that most in the second tier would love to run their club in the same manner as Luton do, as he continued: "We’re probably the envy of 99 per cent of Championship clubs.

"The understanding that we all have and the alignment from the management through to the board, to the coaching team and I believe the fans now, because I don’t think fans expect us to spend one million or ten million on a Brazilian.

"They don’t expect us to do that, so the alignment that we have is something special and it makes our club very, very good and very dangerous.”

Town are now one game away from another potentially lucrative day as they head to Cambridge United in the FA Cup fourth round.

Luton have already earned £82,000 after beating Harrogate Town and will pocket another £90,000 if successful at the Abbey Stadium.

That could then see them earn a plum tie at a Premier League giant, which would swell the coffers quite significantly, as Jones added: “Either a run or a win and let’s draw a massive one so we can pocket a million quid, or something like that.

"I don’t know what the finances are in football, but we’d like to do that.

“We’d like to give the club a little bit of help, so that when we say to the club - and we don’t ask for a lot here - but if we say, ‘we’ve got a big game away at Swansea, can we stay two nights?’ It’s things like that.

“We put it all back into the infrastructure, the board are brilliant with that and Gary (Sweet, chief executive) is amazing.

"The finances are important, so every time we’re on Sky, or every time we advance in a round it all goes back in.

“It’s not the directors thinking, ‘I can pocket it” or ‘I can buy a villa in Majorca’, it goes right back into the environment.

"We improve the environment here and that’s why we’re in such a strong position in terms of everything.

"Everything is aligned, everything goes back into the pot and it’s all to do with the development and the furthering of this football club.

“That’s a wonderful place to be in.”