will have the smallest stadium in history - Corriere.it

will have the smallest stadium in history - Corriere.it

Of Simon Goliath

Luton Town, who had sunk to the fifth tier in 2009, have celebrated their return to the Premier League. His stadium, Kenilworth Road, a piece of history

The fans of Luton Town I'm still furious with the Association Football, the body that governs English football and which between 2007 and 2009 was not at all lenient with the club of the homonymous city in Bedfordshire. In fact, due to financial difficulties and various irregularities, severe sanctions were imposed on the company, including significant penalties. From there the rapid decline (three relegations in a row) that led the team into the abyss of the National League, fifth series. A disgrace for those who had returned from a decade in the elite, abandoned just two months before he was born there Premier League.

Luton Town in the Premier League: what a show at Wembley

But Luton, after 31 years, returned to the top. He did so by winning the playoff final against Coventry City on penalties in front of over 80,000 at Wembley. From debt to bubbly, from suffering to fireworks and golden ribbons. Without forgetting the joy dthe Tom Lockyers, the captain, who collapsed on the pitch and was rushed to hospital. At the end of the game, the father posted a photo of his son mad with joy in front of the TV.

A legendary stadium

In short, there are all the extremes for a Hollywood film. In case you can't not start from the Luton stadium, the same since 1905. Not easy to notice Kenilworth Road Stadium as you walk along Dunstable Road, a collection of shops and restaurants west of the city centre. The plant, in fact, is hidden among the houses that surround three out of four sides. With a capacity of just over 10,000 spectators, is set to become the smallest ground ever in Premier League history. It is a real relic, a special place that is preparing to host Haaland, Salah and all the stars of English football. They too will be no exception: to access the stadium they will have to climb the steps and pass in front of the windows of those who, at that moment, are preparing lunch, dinner or a hot tea.

The club Ready for a £10million refurbishment, which in the summer will have to allow the stadium to adapt to the rules imposed by the Premier League. It will be necessary to fix the press box for the broadcasters, as well as work on the technology related to the goal line. As special as Kenilworth Road is, Luton is well aware of its limitations. History, tradition and affection, but the club has already decided to move to a new purpose-built stadium in the city from the 2026-27 season. This is the Power Court, just a mile away. Contains 23,000 seats, double and would generate revenues of £100 million. Covid has slowed down the passage, which is only a matter of time. Saying goodbye to Kenilworth Road Stadium with the Premier League was the best gift Luton could give to their eternal home.

May 28, 2023 (change May 28, 2023 | 12:38)

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