The Xmas Boxset: Trouble At The Top – Luton Town
Hello everybody, and a very happy Christmas to you all from all of us here at 200%. We all hope that you’re having a peaceful and enjoyable holiday break. As long-time readers will likely be aware, we try to have a little break over the Christmas period, and in keeping with the tradition of slumping in front of the television set wearing an ill-fitting party hat and holding a glass of warm sherry, we bring the gift of videos for you at this time of the year. And this year’s Christmas Day special might be a bit of a repeat, but it always bears another watch, an episode of the BBC’s Trouble At The Top series about the murky involvement of John Gurney at Luton Town, a ruinous period in the history of the club that saw resulted in eventually losing its place in the Football League altogether.
Perhaps it needed the interest of a production team to really get to the heart of the matter of what was going so dreeadfully wrong at Luton Town at that time. Trouble At The Top ran on the BBC for eleven years and featured the stories of failing businesses. To the makers of this episode – which was entitled “Luton Kicks Off” – Luton Town Football Club was just another failing business, and this sense of semi-detachment from the heart of the story really works in the programme’s favour. Gurney was forced out of the club in December 2003 and was subsequently declared bankrupt – aren’t they always? – but in this programme the BBC demonstrated exactly how malign influences can find it so easy to buy into football, and why these cancerous bodies can be so difficult to dislodge once the’re in place. It’s a salutory lesson for all of us.
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