June 14, 2024

Luton Town face ‘insane’ race against time to get Kenilworth Road ready for Burnley clash

Luton Town face a big challenge to get Kenilworth Road ready for their opening home game of the season against Burnley.

The Hatters are having to spend around £13m to ensure their ground complies with Premier League regulations.

The majority of work is being undertaken at the Bobbers Stand – the side with the manager’s dugouts – which is having to be almost rebuilt from scratch.

Rob Edwards’ side, who joined Burnley in winning promotion via the Championship play-offs, face Brighton away on the opening day before hosting the Clarets on August 19.

The club’s chief executive Gary Sweet admits it’s “insane” how much work is required over the next seven weeks.

“We’re actually looking at around £12m to £13m worth of work just at Kenilworth Road,” he told BBC Radio 5Live.

“Kenilworth Road is a unique stadium, for its good and bad, it’s a unique stadium, but it’s certainly not Premier League ready.


The Clarets head to Kenilworth Road for their opening away game of the season


“That money, we’re not challenging it at all, we just have to be Premier League ready – so that has to be spent and clearly there’s a race to get that done.

“We’re targeting the Burnley fixture to be ready in case we’re shown on TV.

“That’s what the majority of work is going on, to achieve a media friendly facility, so that money has to be spent now.

“It really is economic gymnastics and we’re relocating our offices as we don’t have sufficient space to accommodate the new staff we’re bringing in, so the knock-on effects are just ridiculous.

“Moving offices in the short space of the summer window would be enough, but doing everything else as well, most normal people would call it insane.

“But we have to do it, we don’t have a choice, and we do love a challenge here at Luton.”

Despite the cost of getting Kenilworth Road up to speed, Sweet isn’t concerned about the expense.

“The first chunk of money you get from the Premier League is the middle of July, so there is a little survival methodology that we’ve had to deploy between getting promoted where an awful lot of money has been going out,” he added.

“But we’re actually a club that isn’t generally cash short. We operate a really tight profit and loss, so we’re okay with cash getting through.”


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