Overview: Luton Town FC’s former FD under investigation

Luton Town Football Club has gone through turmoil this year, losing its
manager Mike Newell, and then the board following allegations of rule-breaking
financial deals on player contracts. Now the Football Association has hit the
club with 55 charges relating to alleged breaches of its rules, in relation to
player contracts and contract renegotiations.

Among those charged is former finance director Derek Peter, where it is
alleged that he approved payments made by the club’s holding company, Jayten
Stadium Limited, to agents in relation to nine player deals. Only the club is
allowed to make such deals under FA rules.

What’s happened?

ICAEW-qualified Peter is a former Tottenham Hotspur FD, who helped take Spurs
public. He joined Luton in 2004 as part of a consortium headed by Luton’s now
former chairman Mike Tomlins. The club had found itself in financial straits and
the consortium rescued the club out of administrative receivership.

Earlier this year, manager Mike Newell spoke out against a bung culture in
the game, which put him on a collision course with his own bosses. Prior to his
sacking Newell called for exposure of Luton’s finances in relation to transfers,
which led to the club taking the extraordinary step of publishing transfer
details on its website.

Following Newell’s departure, the club than shed its board members including
Peter and Tomlins. The former chairman admitted at the time that the holding
company had made irregular payments in relation to transfers.

Now the club is under the spotlight by the FA. Among the charges, nine relate
to Peter. As FD at the time, it is alleged that he approved of payments made by
Jayten in relation to contractual negotiations to agents, rather than through
the club.

What’s going to happen?

For Peter, a successful action by the FA might not prove too burdensome in
the sense that he no longer operates in the football industry.

There is no suggestion at the moment that Peter’s institute, the ICAEW, is
looking at the allegations, but its rules do allow for action against those who
bring discredit to the profession, which includes ‘significant criticism of a
member by a regulatory body of authoritative standing’, according to the

Will Peter be over the moon or sick as a parrot? Only time will tell.

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