Sweet 'exploded' with joy after Luton won promotion

Luton chief executive Gary Sweet revealed he ‘exploded a little bit’ with jubilation when news of Town's promotion to the Championship was confirmed on Tuesday evening

Friday, 3rd May 2019, 10:47 am
Updated Friday, 3rd May 2019, 11:13 am
Hatters chief executive Gary Sweet

The Hatters needed both Portsmouth and Sunderland to lose in order to complete the job and avoid a nervy, tension-filled decider against Oxford United this weekend.

That’s exactly what happened, play-off chasing Peterborough United winning 3-2 at Fratton Park, with Fleetwood seeing the Black Cats off 2-1 at home.

On his reaction, Sweet said: “I was yelling my head off at the time.

"I was only at home with the family, we just had the kids jumping around the room, my wife opened a bottle of champagne, we were desperate to do it, so we exploded a little bit and it was an amazing feeling.

“In an ideal world we’d have love to have done it at home in front of the crowd, but actually I’m glad it happened the way it did.

"What was nice about it, is that the fact that Sunderland did their bit as well and it was a loss for Portsmouth.

"I don’t want to celebrate anyone’s loss usually, but it was a loss for Portsmouth meaning it was a guarantee for us.

"Because that little thing about Sunderland having to overturn 15 goals or whatever it may be, would have just taken the edge off that instantaneous, spontaneous reaction that we had.

"It meant that Saturday couldn’t quite go ahead in the way it is now, so I’m quite pleased that it’s absolutely guaranteed.”

Sweet and the rest of the 2020 board have received huge credit this season for their leadership of the club, in particular the manner in which they have achieved planning permission for both Power Court and Newlands Park.

It saw them earn a standing ovation from Luton supporters after 20 minutes of the home clash with Gillingham recently, and there's every chance a packed Kenilworth Road will follow suit once more tomorrow.

On just how Sweet felt the first time it happened, he continued: "Awkward! None of us involved do this job for the credit.

"We’ve got a saying, we’ve got boards up around the place, saying 'it’s amazing what you can achieve when no individual wants to take credit,' and that’s absolutely right.

"The fans can sing what they want to sing, but for us, I think the people that they should be chanting for is the 11 on the pitch and maybe the one off it.

"We are proud and it's a deep honour that our fellow supporters think that we’re doing a good job and I can’t say more than that really.

"So we thank them for it, but maybe on 20 minutes, cheer Mick."

Although Sweet allowed himself some time for celebrations, he is now concentrating solely on planning for next season with the club in second tier of English football for the first time since the 2006-07 campaign.

He added: "It’s been fantastic, I feel honoured to just be in this role, but especially honoured, given what everybody’s achieved.

"It’s phenomenal, and for me personally as a fan from a nipper, that never leaves you, so there’s this unbelievable excitement within me as a supporter.

"But at the end of the day we’ve got to crack on now and deal with the serious business of being in the Championship.

"There’s a lot of hard work to do, my feet are on the ground, and people are asking me ‘are you actually happy’, but I’m just focused now on next year."