Against all odds! Could Premier League promotion hopefuls survive epic rebuild?
English football history books are littered with tales of the fairy variety in which odds are upset in stunning fashion by sides that seemingly have no right to deliver the exploits that they are able to achieve.
In 2023, another chapter could be written in the most thrilling of sporting publications by Luton Town. The Hatters, quite unbelievably, stand on the brink of booking themselves a ticket to the A-list Premier League party. Few could have predicted that such a scenario would play out, with the most remarkable of rags-to-riches stories unfolding in deepest, darkest Bedfordshire.
— Luton Town FC (@LutonTown) April 19, 2023
Luton are now within touching distance of the Promised Land, having found themselves in the non-league ranks just seven years ago. A stunning reversal in fortune has them perched among the second-tier frontrunners, with Championship betting pricing them at 2/1 to take another step up the ladder.
Collective spirit and relentless ambition has carried the Hatters to this point, with it impossible for Championship betting tips to ignore their claims to standing among the elite. Given all that they have achieved so far, it would take a brave soul to bet against them completing their ascent through the divisions.
There are, however, obvious challenges that such a meteoric rise to prominence will pose. Having been turning out in the National League as recently as 2014, Luton are – quite understandably – not as prepared for life in the Premier League as they could be.
Their Kenilworth Road home ground has a capacity of just 10,356 and has not played host to top-flight football since 1992. Bringing said venue up to speed will not be easy, or cheap, with chief executive Gary Sweet suggesting that a serious refurbishment project will cost around £100 million. He has said: “Just to be able to get Kenilworth Road ready now, just for maybe two or three years, is maybe more of a gargantuan task than building a new stadium.”
It must also be noted that Luton would have to freshen up their playing ranks considerably were they to win promotion. As things stand, the club have just two senior players under contract for the 2023-24 campaign. Nottingham Forest generated plenty of headlines last summer with their recruitment drive, but Luton may have to take things to a whole new level.
They are, however, aware of the need not to get ahead of themselves, with head coach Rob Edwards saying: “We want to look up rather than behind us but we’re well aware that we just have to keep trying to win, that’s all we can do. We can’t do anything about anyone else.”
Luton Town are currently third in the Championship and could be promoted to the Premier League next season.
Imagine playing PL matches at Kenilworth Road 😮 pic.twitter.com/0Z1mY7pSWX
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 25, 2023
Luton have won plenty of admirers this season, having secured a sixth-place finish under Nathan Jones last term, with their particular brand of football perfectly blending graft and guile. It would be a big ask to expect that formula to work again in the Premier League, but the Hatters would love to give it a go.
An epic rebuild will be required in order to make that possible, on and off the pitch, but they would not be the first to take on such a challenge and can expect to gain many more followers if their stranger-than-fiction renaissance continues.