Sweet urges Luton fans to leave politics at the door

Town's away fans at the Hawthorns last night
Town's away fans at the Hawthorns last night

Luton Town chief executive Gary Sweet has called on the club’s fans refrain from chanting non-footballing songs after an incident during the 1-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion in the Carabao Cup last night.

In a statement on the Hatters’ official website, Sweet said: “As I came away from a magnificent performance at The Hawthorns last night against a very strong West Brom team, as usual, I reflect upon the highs and lows, and the good and ‘can do better’ aspects of both the match and the experience.

Apart from the result, our experience was blemished, for the second away game running, by hearing the chanting the name of a political figurehead by a small number of Hatters supporters.

Gary Sweet

“I love The Hawthorns. As I was taking in the environment last night, in many ways it felt a little like how I imagine Power Court will be.

“Indeed, there a few similar design characteristics (plus a few improvements) between the two which I know everyone would be so proud of once it gets built.

“Despite having an attendance of around 10,000 (with a very impressive 1,100 from Luton, for which we thank you) the stadium provided a lively atmosphere, whereby everyone felt involved and included.

“Apart from the result, our experience was blemished, for the second away game running, by hearing the chanting the name of a political figurehead by a small number of Hatters supporters.

“This is hugely disappointing for us, as a board, because the individual in question wasn’t playing or involved in the squad or staff.

“Everyone at the club has worked extremely hard and will continue to work tirelessly to create an environment – whether that be Kenilworth Road, Power Court or any away game – for our community of supporters to support their team and enjoy a football match knowing that all prejudice – whether that be political, religious, cultural or racial – can and should be left for another day.

“This allows us to invite anybody into our environment without discomfort, disrespect or fear, and welcome any and every member of our wide community respectfully.

“Luton and Luton Town Football Club is intertwined in a rich tapestry of continuous change and diversity and, for me, the success of embracing such difference has always been ideologically characteristic of ‘being Lutonian’.

“We absolutely accept and respect the fact that everyone holds their own independent opinions and values, but we politely ask for you to temporarily overlook those views for a couple of hours or so when attending Luton Town matches in future.

“We, at Luton Town, are proud of the culture we have nurtured in the last ten years, taking the positive elements of our glorious history and blending those with our ambition to be successful, our desire to see our club fully retributed, our passion to unite our communities and our absolute, indefatigable dedication to see our town regenerated, resulting in the feeling of pride and prosperity we all deserve.

“There is a lot at stake.

“Please respect others when supporting our great club, please support the players on the pitch and please refrain from introducing non-football songs into our stadia.”