The departure of Hatters manager Nathan Jones and his backroom staff will not distract from one of the most important months in the history of Luton, says #saveourtown.
The Welshman yesterday left for Championship side Stoke City a week before Luton Borough Council will make a decision on Power Court, which includes the club’s proposed 17,500-seat stadium, and before the Newlands Park proposal is determined on January 30.
With first-team coach Joaquin Gomez and head of sports science Jared-Roberts Smith following Jones to the Potters today, emotions are raw among football fans, but community group #saveourtown, which has been campaigning to get the developments approved on behalf of the whole town, says the club and the town must quickly refocus its attention.
Chairman Nigel Green said: “We are disappointed that Nathan Jones has left his role as Luton Town manager at such a critical time in the history of our town, let alone our club.
“While we thank him for supporting #saveourtown, his departure, in the grand scheme of things, is small-fry compared to the biggest issues in a lifetime for our town.
“The reality is that football managers come and go, but the possibilities that lay ahead for our town, through Power Court and Newlands Park, are about so much more than one man and so much more than football.
“The proposals are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change the destiny of our town and bring about a bright new future. We will not be distracted in helping achieve this goal.
“We believe part of this will be secured on Wednesday and, should this come to fruition it will mean that, for the first time in more than 60 years of trying, Luton Town Football Club will be granted planning permission for a new football stadium. But, again, this is about so much more than football.
“Power Court will help transform Luton town centre for the benefit of all Lutonians, regenerating a town centre eyesore with an 1,800-capacity music venue, bars, restaurants, a small niche cinema, lifestyle retail, homes, car parking and the re-emergence of the River Lea (currently hidden underground) to provide our town with a desirable public piazza for people to use 24/7.
“However, a positive decision will only be half time because, for the complete transformation of our town – which will mean a £250million boost the local economy and 10,000 new jobs – we also need Newlands Park to be approved, with all the exciting facilities and opportunities that will also provide Luton.
“So, despite the disappointing football news of yesterday, we woke up this morning feeling fine, dreams of a new dawn on our minds. Luton’s going to win like we knew it would. Something tells us we’re on to something good.“