Hatters boss 'excited' about upcoming transfer window despite Luton being placed under 'borderline farcical' embargo by EFL

Town chief believes club can do some impressive business in the summer

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 3:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th April 2021, 4:43 pm
Luton chief Nathan Jones

Luton boss Nathan Jones is 'excited' about the business the Hatters will be able to do in the summer transfer window despite currently being placed under what he labelled a ‘borderline farcical’ transfer embargo.

The Hatters, along with nine other Championship sides, were hit with the punishment this week after delaying submitting their accounts for the 2019-20 period, despite the Government allowing businesses an extra three months in which to do so, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Even though the EFL have not filed their own accounts just yet, they still handed out the embargo anyway, but it wasn't something that worried Jones, who in fact is eager to begin finding searching for new acquisitions.

The Town chief said: "We’re in a decent position and we’re quite excited about what we can do in the summer.

"It’s not because we’ve got a load of money to spend, but there will be scope to go out and fish like we do reasonably well.

“I think the Coventry CEO came out and said, and I don’t want to quote too much on it, but it’s borderline farcical really, because what teams have done is just delayed putting accounts in, which is totally legal.

“The government have given leeway and, personally, without going too much into it, HMRC gave everyone an extra month.

“That’s the kind of thing that’s happened, but the EFL have not aligned with that, which means that, even though there’s not any financial irregularities, or any problems, that they have to say, ‘okay, well you haven’t put your accounts in, so there’s an embargo’.

"But it’s not an issue or anything.

“We have a wonderful CEO and a wonderful board and a wonderful group of people here who understand everything.

"Gary (Sweet, CEO) called it an anomaly, they’ve been given leeway by the government to do that, it's just the EFL regulations.

"The ironic thing is even if we were desperate and someone said 'here’s a billion quid go and sign a player,' we couldn’t actually do it yet anyway.

"So I don’t think it affects anything and with the way that this club is run, when the time comes, I have every confidence that will be lifted."

Town CEO Gary Sweet stated back in March of last year that he thought the Hatters could come out of the pandemic in a stronger position than a number of their Championship rivals.

Jones believes that might well be the case and feels that the financial divide which currently exists between teams in the second tier, won't be as apparent.

He continued: “I hope so, but I think what Gary meant is that if we all stuck together and all did our bit, and this is not a cliched manager spiel thing, but the fans have been wonderful for us in terms of the backing they’ve given us and that really does help.

“With Championship clubs, there’s an element of frivolousness with some of the spending.

"It doesn’t mean that we’ll have shed loads more money to spend, what I think it means is that the gap between the big spenders, the medium spenders, the over-spenders and us is now getting smaller because they can’t do it.

“The pandemic’s hit everyone, and hopefully what’s happened, what will happen and what I think Gary means, having the conversations with him that I do, is that there’ll be a little bit more of an even playing field.

“It brings a certain type of player into our realm that wouldn’t necessarily have been in that.”

Jones has been fiercely proud of the club’s recruitment during his two spells as manager which has seen the Hatters climb from 18th in League Two to the Championship, with Luton showing their eye for a talent once more in the most recent window, snapping up Walsall striker Elijah Adebayo for an undisclosed fee.

He believes they will have to use it to their strength again to bolster his playing squad over the summer, saying: “We recruited well in League Two and, to be honest, in the second year of League Two, we were the best team with the best squad in the league, quality-wise, everything.

"We didn’t win the league and credit to Accrington, but we had the best squad, comfortably.

“Then, when we went into League One, we didn’t have the best squad, or the biggest squad, or biggest budget by a long stretch.

"But what we had was good recruitment at the level and we were always looking at that level.

“That’s proved very well because that group of players have now survived in the Championship.

“So, for us now to go again, we have to really dig deep into those processes and go back to what we do very well, in terms of recruitment.

“Age, athleticism, talent, character and the only thing about being in the Championship is that it’s tougher.

"We know we can’t make mistakes, we know we’re competing with masses of finance elsewhere.

"That is going to reduce slightly, the gap, but it’s still the same processes.

“The processes have never changed, what we’re trying to do now is just make them a little more clinical and a little bit more scope to do certain things.”

The fact that Luton find themselves in a position where Jones is looking forward to the upcoming transfer window during a pandemic is down to both the club’s board and their supporters, according to the boss himself.

He added: “It’s been a tough year with Covid, we’ve been helped because of the way the club’s run, because we haven’t had a massive deficit budget towards income.

"Then we’ve had wonderful fans that have actually contributed, even though they haven’t been able to come to the games.

"Which meant that we can be in a position that we’ve been able to survive without multiple sackings, without major trauma, because of a group effort and a CEO and board that have been fantastic through this.”