Anger after League's extra penalty puts Luton in 30-point hole

The new owners of Luton have criticised the Football League for "trying to push Luton Town out of existence" after being hit with a 20-point deduction for failing to agree a Company Voluntary Arrangement to repay the club's creditors. They will start the new League Two season on minus 30 points, having already had 10 points deducted last month by the Football Association for breaching rules over payments to players' agents.

But Stephen Browne, a director of the club's new owners LTFC2020, believes the Hatters are again being punished for the previous mismanagement of the club. He said: "It's quite clear that we have made a mistake. We placed our faith in the footballing authorities. We have tried to do everything openly and honestly. The very clear message from both the FA and Football League is that doing such a thing is a total waste of time.

"Once again, the club suffers from the mismanagement of the past. Once again the faithful supporters are left high and dry. Once again a policy of honesty is not at all recognised by the football authorities who claim they want to clean up the game.

"Once again the Football League fail, as who was it that cleared the previous owners as 'fit and proper' in the first place?"

Like Leeds last season, Luton have now been hit with a further points deduction, as well as being ordered to pay their creditors 16p in the pound.

They have also been forced to sign a letter relinquishing any right to an appeal against the penalty. Browne added: "The Football League have decided to dictate what should be paid for the football club as it now appears that they are the only people who can set a purchase price.

"It's a gun to our heads because we also have to forgo our right of appeal or else we will not be allowed to stay in professional league football. We have discussed this and decided unanimously that we will continue the fight by sticking to our principles of openness and honesty."