Luton have fired their manager, Mike Newell, with the club fighting to stay in the Championship. The club dropped to second from bottom in the Championship after losing 2-1 to Hull this past Tuesday. Newell criticised the team’s board after the game and blamed the selling of the club’s best players for their woes.
He was quoted as saying “Where’s the £9m gone? Give that to me and I’ll get five experienced players in, I’ll pay them fortunes and we’ll get ourselves out of it. It takes three or four years to build a reputation as a decent manager and three months to lose that reputation. But if you take the four best players out of any team it will hurt them.”
Since the club won the League One title in 2005, Curtis Davies has been sold to West Brom for £3m, Rowan Vine to Birmingham for £3m, Carlos Edwards to Sunderland for £1.5m and Steve Howard has moved to Derby for £1m.
I feel Newell raised some good points but was probably unwise to express his displeasure to the media. He had also brought a lot of negative press to the club with his comments regarding female assistant referee Amy Rayner. He had put himself in a tenuous position early in the season by going to the FA to say that he had been offered cash by agents and club officials in exchange for selling players.
On top of all that, he had also become embroiled in a public spat with Leeds boss Dennis Wise over former Luton player Kevin Nicholls. Nicholls moved to Leeds last summer in a £700,000 transfer but he has not settled at Elland Road and Newell’s overtures to bring him back led to a war of words between the two managers.
Former Luton player Brian Stein will take temporary charge of the club until a new manager is found.