Arsenal v Luton Town – and how Luton might yet escape relegation



By Bulldog Drummond

ForLuton Town last season ended in a triumph: a run of 14 games without defeat .  On 24 February 2023 the club was fourth in the league – in a play off place but three points away from Middlesbrough in third and six behind Sheffield United in second.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Burnley 37 24 11 2 74 29 45 83
2 Sheffield United 37 21 7 9 58 33 25 70
3 Middlesbrough 38 20 7 11 69 42 27 67
4 Luton Town 38 17 13 8 46 35 11 64


Then came the run of 13 games unbeaten to the end of the season starting on 25 February with a 0-1 away win at Birmingham City and ending with a goalless draw against Hull.

As a result they finished the season in third, five points above Middlesbrough.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Burnley 46 29 14 3 87 35 52 101
2 Sheffield United 46 28 7 11 73 39 34 91
3 Luton Town 46 21 17 8 57 39 18 80
4 Middlesbrough 46 22 9 15 84 56 28 75


Subsequently of course they got promotion, but in that final run that secured their third-place finish they only once scored more than two goals – in a 3-1 win over Blackpool.

In fact they finished the season with the eighth-highest goal tally in the league, equal with Millwall and Norwich City.   Indeed they scored 30 goals fewer than top club Burnley – and were effectively half way down the league in terms of goal scoring.

So it is interesting to compare Luton’s position at the end of last season with now.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
18 Luton Town 2023/4 30 5 7 18 43 62 -19 22
3 Luton Town 2022/3 46 21 17 8 57 39 18 80


Last season Luton’s goals per game came in at 1.24.  This season it is currently running at 2.15! So they are actually scoring more goals a game this season than they managed last season. 

But a list of their top scorers this season is interesting having one player Elijah Adebayo on nine in 30 games and another, Carlton Morris on eight.  After that it is Tahith Chong on five, and a couple of players on four each.  

Of course we know that there is what Untold generally feels is an insane campaign to have Arsenal go about and buy a top-scoring centre forward (despite being the top-scoring team in the Premier League this season), but the difference in goal scoring between the two clubs is astounding. 

Indeed I suspect that Luton Town, along with Burnley and Sheffield United – the top three from the Championship last season – are already thinking through how they will approach the championship next season.

In fact eight clubs in the Premier League last season scored more goals that Luton Town managed in the Championship despite Luton playing an extra four games in their league.

But then last season their average attendance was 9.854.  This season it is a little higher – but only a little because of the size of the ground.  In their last three games it has been averaging around 11,400.    Now the league regulations say that away fans must get a minimum of 3000 tickets for a Premier League game, although exceptions can be made for very old grounds where that is not practical.  

For grounds where the capacity is over 30,000, then 10 per cent go to the away fans.   Arsenal’s official capacity is 60,704, so 6,704 has to go to Luton Town fans.  Which means all but 1276 of their regular home fans will be able to go to this game. 

But can Luton Town escape from relegation?   Certainly, at the moment of writing it is still most certainly possible.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
15 Brentford 30 7 6 17 42 55 -13 27
16 Everton 29 8 7 14 30 41 -11 25
17 Nottingham Forest 30 6 8 16 36 52 -16 22
18 Luton Town 30 5 7 18 43 62 -19 22
19 Burnley 30 4 6 20 31 65 -34 18
20 Sheffield United 29 3 6 20 27 77 -50 15


So can anything stop Luton Town going down?  Obviously, a downward spiral by Nottingham Forest would help.   But so could the Premier League Judicial Panel.because rather oddly Nottingham Forest are currently appealing the four-point deduction they were given for their breach of the Premier League Profit and Sustainability Rules up to 2023-24.

Now some people consider that a four point deduction was just about the minimum the League could have handed out – although of course others would disagree.   But the four point deduction leaves Forest’s future in their own hands as after 30 games both teams are on the same number of points .

The result of Forest’s appeal will not be delivered until May 24 – which turns out to be five days after the end of the 2023-24 season.  Of course the League could reduce that four point deduction.  But the rules also allow the League to put that deduction up, if in the view of the appeals panel the judgement was too lenient.  

Luton might yet escape the drop, but it would not be through action of their own making. Meanwhile one can only hope that the club is spending a little bit of the money it is receiving from being in the Premier League on improving its own ground.

6 Replies to “Arsenal v Luton Town – and how Luton might yet escape relegation”

  1. Oh dear, maybe a quick google before the next article about Luton? The club has had to spend a good chunk of the promotion windfall on Kenilworth Road (£13 million was required to add VAR capability and upgrade the media facilities to meet PL rules). However they have started work on a new stadium called Power Court (on the site of the old car factory in the town). Having a net spend of less than £20 million on new signings they are, in fact, spending most of the Premier League cash on new and improved facilities.

    And they won’t be adding a cheese cave.

  2. I believe Luton is building a new ground. They have certainly outperformed my expectations. And they have provided a good platform for Sambi Lokonga.

  3. Spurs 9 fouls, 4 yellows…. WestHam 12 fouls, 1 yellow

    Go figure….

    Their defense is definitely not flawless, considering WestHam had just 35 % of possession, they managed as many shots on goal and just 2 less off target.

    That being said, for once, Taylor did not mess up the game Sunday. I am still amazed at the few number of yellows. Seems such an outlier to me. And he was not the subject of the game. Which means he is able to referee correctly.

    Maybe, with the whole world watching, PGMOL did make it clear that it better be a flawless game ?

  4. Chris

    “Maybe, with the whole world watching, PGMOL did make it clear that it better be a flawless game” ?

    Don’t know if you read but the match set a new 2.19 Million NBC TV audience record for a Premier League game in the USA, exceeding 2 Million for the first time, beating the previous record of 1.96 Million for the Liverpool Arsenal draw back in December. As it happens the 3rd biggest of 9.2Million is also an Arsenal match from January 2023 against Man Utd.

    So you may have a point. The World IS watching, more over America is watching, and America is THE market the Premier League clubs are targeting, and at least from my position it seems ‘America’ as an audience, will not accept the usual awful standard of officiating we have to put up with every week. I may be wrong.

    So you may be right, Taylors much more ‘measured’ performance, shall we say, may of been all about who was watching?

  5. Maybe Tony can give us un run down of Taylor’s stats : home/away bias, tackles, fouls and his specific game stats ?
    That might be enlightening !

    I was totally surprised that the refereeing was kind of invisible and no drama happened. Which means the players must have felt it was pretty ok. Which again proves the point that Taylor IS capable of doing a decent job. Which raises the next question : why the heck is he not doing so week in week out and why are the other referees not able to uphold that kind of standard.

    As for the US market, I don’t know if you are aware of these 2 issues :

    – the MSL has faced a referee strike since the beginning of the season, that just ended. So referees from lower leagues were called to duty and it was a mess
    – Apple, who owns the broadcasting rights, promulgated a gag order on refereeing. No critics allowed, nothing has happened…. thy are taking their cue from PGMOL….Just that in this case it is the organisation that is paying to broadcast who intervenes.

    So, in the PL, it is PGMOL (and I guess the PL) who censor, in Europe, it is UEFA, and in the US it is the broadcaster…

    I find this a very interesting development,

  6. Interesting indeed, and not all together healthy for the game.

    The media won’t tackle any of this of course. We’ll have to leave that to Tony and the diligent regulars of Untold who do a much better job of research and exposure than we can ever hope to get from the regulars down the Toppled Bollard.

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