People and Business: Receivers call shots at Luton

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The Independent Online
LUTON TOWN Football Club is the latest sporting outfit to be taken over by Buchler Phillips, the receivers of the moment.

Luton, known as the Hatters to its fans, went into receivership on Tuesday after a director, Cliff Bassett (who founded Universal Salvage Auctions) decided he wanted to call in his pounds 2m in loans to the troubled Second Division club.

Various bods from Buchler Phillips have in the past month been appointed administrators to Crystal Palace and receivers to Richmond Rugby Club.

John Kelly, one of the Buchler Phillips receivers sent in to Luton, said at the Kenilworth Road ground yesterday: "It is in all our interests for me to get out of here as soon as possible."

By coming in Mr Kelly says he hopes to put an end to the boardroom squabbles which have made it impossible to bring in new investors. Outgoing chairman David Kohler still owns 60 per cent of Luton and is owed about pounds 300,000, but the receivers now call the shots.

Mr Kelly says the players' contracts continue, "although as to whether I pay them is my option. We are seeing the Football League next week to try and work out a satisfactory result for all." He could sell players to raise money, but he says he has one big problem: the transfer deadline is today