Luton Town boss Nathan Jones has urged every single one of the club’s huge fanbase to have their say on the double planning application submitted to Luton Borough Council recently.
On every seat in Kenilworth Road ahead of Saturday’s 4-1 win over Wycombe Wanderers was a leaflet with a letter from Jones and also club legend Mick Harford, who is now the chief recruitment officer, urging the council to pass plans for a new 17,500 stadium in Power Court, plus the Newlands Park facility as well.
Over 1,200 representations have already been received by the council, but with three weeks remaining for representations to be made, a clearly passionate Jones thinks this is such a vital time for fans to make their voices of support heard.
He said: “It’s a big day in terms of the application. What we’re looking to do is take this club forward, now we want to take it forward on the pitch, but to do that it’s essential that we keep pace off the pitch.
“There’s a wonderful proposal going in to get a new stadium and a development that will not only take the football club forward but will take the whole area forward, Luton, Bedfordshire, everything.
“Now I came here because I saw that ambition, I was at a club (Brighton) that had that ambition 12 years ago, wanted to do that and have taken their club into the next century with a fantastic new stadium, a fantastic infrastructure and that’s what we want to do.
“We are taking the area forward and it’s a great thing to do, I’m on board, lets get on board, tell the council how good it is, lets get this done.”Nathan Jones
“I saw that ambition from the board, and from Gary (Sweet) and I wanted to be part of that.
“I saw that vision, now I want fans to see that vision, the people of Luton, the people of Bedfordshire to see that vision, and if you do, then read the letters, read all the literature, it’s there and give your own thoughts to the council.
“Because it will be a wonderful thing. One it will take the club forward in terms of our magnificent new stadium, but the retail will enable the club to be stable and also gives so much to the community, so much to the people of Bedford and Luton as I keep saying.
“It’s a wonderful thing and if you think that and think it’s a wonderful thing, then write into the council, get your opinions in, tell them what a good thing is, tell them that you like that, and be part of it, because together we can take this not only the club, but the community forward.”
Jones also urged those who weren’t necessarily supporters of the Hatters to get involved with the plans too as he continued: “It’s not just the fans, it’s telling your mate when you go down the pub, or if you’re in the supermarket, or wherever you are, tell someone that it’s exciting times here.
“Let’s take it forward, get your opinions in, it’s a good thing, it’s not a gratuitous thing so that the football club can get rich and have a big nice new stadium, it’s not.
“We are taking the area forward and it’s a great thing to do, I’m on board, lets get on board, tell the council how good it is, lets get this done.
“They’re innovative as well, really innovative, not just your bog standard concrete jungle of a shopping mall or anything, it’s innovative, it’s different, it’s going to take the place forward.
“The restaurants, the social thing it will give to the area, the retail side, the boost to the economy, the jobs, in my opinion, it’s a no brainer.
“But I urge everyone to tell everyone and look at all the literature and form your own opinion and then get it into the council, and then lets take this place forward.”
The Town players threw their weight behind it too as hat-trick hero Danny Hylton said: “It’s great because it shows ambition, it shows the club doesn’t want to stay in League Two.
“You’re not going to pay for a new training ground and a new ground if you’re happy to stay in League Two. There’s ambitions there and I’ve still got ambitions to play higher, so it looks good.
“It would be lovely and if I’m still here when it’s there, and we’re playing in the Premier League or whatever it is, then great.”
Meanwhile, Jordan Cook added: “It’s massive, the lads were talking about it before and obviously the training ground as well, we should be moving into that quite soon, it’s just all stepping in the right direction.
“The club’s going massive and it’s got the fanbase behind it, the fans deserve it as much as what anyone else deserves it.
“The board have done a fantastic job trying to push this forward as quick as they can.
“You want to play in the nicest stadiums, in front of the biggest crowds, with the best facilities and I think the club’s going in definitely the right direction to do that.
“To me, playing at Kenilworth Road is big in itself, but this other place is going to be top drawer.”