Richard Money

Just a few thoughts and comments on our Mr Money, indulge me awhile. Before the Tamworth game a week ago Richard Money recorded an interview with Ian Pearce of 3CR which I hadn’t listened to, but I heard others refer to it at the game and Pearcey also referred to it in his post match interview. Things haven’t got much better since I drafted this article after the Tamworth game.

Having now listened to it I thought I’d post a reaction to his understandable comments about the unacceptable comments and behaviour towards him – but try to attempt put into context why it is so bad.

Before I continue I want to make the following statements lest my ramblings below get mis interpreted:

I still support Richard Money and his tenure as manager at LTFC, I don’t wish to see him replaced at this time. He is a complex, sometimes frustrating, sometimes confusing, slightly antagonistic man, but a man who I think is honest and likeable and passionate.

I do not support or associate myself with violent or foul mouthed behaviour towards an individual, apart from a few shouted comments at the ref occasionally borne out of frustration. Being a father myself, I never shout an offensive word when I know children are directly within earshot.

I think whilst RM appreciates that Hatters fans dislike being in the fifth tier and want to get out as soon as possible, can he truly understand or comprehend the deep-seated frustration and angst caused by our predicament? The actions, conduct and anger of Luton fans is magnified, enhanced and intensified by the fact that we, the supporters, are not supporting a team in non-league because of our actions, not because of the actions of the eleven players who have turned out and (mostly) given their all on a Saturday afternoon. But because of the actions of others. The others in this case being the crooks who ran the club before 2020 and equally the FA and FL whose unfair and unjust points deductions ensured that the 30 point deduction was just too much for a club down on its uppers.

A lot of people in life get dealt a bad card and suffer terrible misfortune none of which is down to them. There are others in life, the feckless, whose actions result in their own downfall. However neither of these scenarios applies to Luton fans. We have had to live with the consequence of the actions of others. We are the shop floor workers who are out of a job because the directors gambled away the profits and the taxman closed the factory down. It wasn’t because we weren’t working hard enough or putting in enough effort. We are enduring the punishment for someone else’s sins and a harsh punishment at that.

I think that it is because of this utter, utter frustration as to our position that the whinges the moans, the booing comes out like it does. We are desperate to get out of this and be able to start
to hold our heads up high again.

We want to know that it will be okay. We want to know that we can out of this. We want to know that it will be alright in the end.

If we knew that the FA and FLs punishment was that we had to spend one or two years in non league, but after that we would be back in the league, like a sin bin, then we would just ‘do our time’ and get on with it. But they have given us an open-ended sentence. That is the frustration. That is what it boils down to. An open ended sentence which we, the supporters, are powerless to do anything about – other than turn up in our numbers home and away (which is what we have done) and support the team, which is what the vast majority have done. It is this powerlessness and frustration and restlessness and heartache that we all feel, that sometimes boils over into the unacceptable actions of those less well able to control themselves.

Human beings have various outlets for frustration, anger being one of them. Humans also have in-built coping mechanisms for frustration too – one of which is to remove yourself from the situation that is making you frustrated. But unless you stop being a Hatter completely, or stick your head in the ground and just stop following whilst we are in non league, it is impossible not to endure our plight. We can neither control it nor remove ourselves from it. It is impossible to do anything about where we are, other than having to live through it.

We are enduring a nightmare. In future years we will refer to the dark days of non-league as if it was a nightmare which we by then will have woken up from. But right now we are going through it. Right now we are trapped in a situation which we all would do something about if we could, but are reliant on others, ie Mr Money and his team, to do something to extricate us from this sentence/nightmare/frustration.

Just think of the relief when we do go up, whenever it is. The curse would have been broken. The time would have been served, the abscess lanced. Once we are back in the league we can do something about getting us back to where we truly belong. We can start the process of moving up the league but on our terms and on a level playing field, not on the back foot.

So, in conclusion, whilst the anger and vitriol poured out at Money and the team on occasions is utterly wrong, the booing and general ignorance and dissatisfaction is borne out of frustration, not so much of the immediate performance of the team itself, but I think because of the circumstances we continue to find ourselves in. I suspect the anger will intensify before it improves – the boil will get bigger before it bursts – the coldest part of the night is indeed just before the dawn. Rightly or wrongly, if we get so near, but fail to go up again this year, the anger and continued objectionable behaviour will intensify and spill out like it did against York last year. It is not right, it is not excusable, but it will get worse and worse and worse until and after the point of not going up. Unfortunately it is raw human nature. Inexusable, but irrefutable.

To Richard Money, if he was sitting here with me over a pint I would say: “Bear with the fans, the majority of which want you to do well. They want Luton to go up, plain and simple. As the end of the season nears, if we are not strutting to victory, expect the nastiness to continue and to worsen. This is not right, it is not excusable, but I suspect it will happen. It will be fantastic if it doesn’t but I suspect it will. The agony of the play offs will be a nerve-wracking time for all concerned and that will mean that people will get louder and nastier with their actions and comments to you personally if you don’t delight them with results. Promotion will be an enormous weight lifted from everyone’s shoulders. We can breathe again at that point. We can start to put the embarrassment of the non-league years behind us and start to exist on level terms with others again. If you can do that then the easing of the pain and frustration will reduce the vitriol. You would be the manager who lifted Luton out of non-league. You won’t quite be a hero, but you will have a notch on your CV – you will have shown us that you can provide something to believe in. You would have given us that hope for the future. At present people are not quite sure. They want to believe, but until you actively demonstrate that you can deliver us from the fifth tier there will always be doubts. Get us out of non-league and the doubters will be on your side. They might still not trust you, or like you, but you will have shown that you can do it. You will have shown that you can achieve. If you can bear with us warts and all, we will bear with you. If you can deliver, the relief at the Kenny will be tangible, audible and worth (most of) the pain. Luton fans are fantastic friends but bloody awful enemies. ”

So I wrote this a week ago. Since then we’ve had two below par performances and only excuses not reasons for the poor performances. I don’t know what’s wrong with the team. I know there’s no proper wing play and that the ball is being humped up the middle. We can’t buy a goal. Something’s wrong.

We’ve brought in-form striker after in-form striker, good midfielders and wingers and turned them into toothless tigers. It’s like there’s a blunting process that goes on where all of the form and sparkle a player was showing is gradually squeezed out of him – leaving him a shadow of his former self. Somehow we’ve been turning Alfa Romeos into Citroens. With the squad we’ve got we should be tearing sides at this level apart. But we’re bobbing along, not playing well, scraping through, but managing to do just enough.

This form isn’t play-off winning form. I’m not sure that everything is all right in the changing room, it can’t be. It’s not clicking. It’s not just bad form, it’s something else.


11 thoughts on “Richard Money

  1. David

    Have you thought of sending this to 2020? Maybe parts of it will end up on RM’s desk.

    Interesting analysis (from your day job training?) but for me the big question is in the last two paragraphs. How we turn good players into bad and never raise them back to their previous ability. That’s what I would ask Money over a pint.

    I think Money’s had enough time and ability to sign who he wants. He hasn’t shown to me that he is capable of forming a strong team who have a chance of getting out of this league. I don’t mind losing of he have matched the opposition and fallen to an odd mistake bit last night at Cambridge was more of the current, rotten state. More team meddling, more using a combination (Keane and Carden) which has been shown/proved doesn’t work.

    Last night wasn’t the result of a good manager. It was tinkering, bad tactics and a team with no confidence. And it’s been this way for most of the season. And it wasn’t the result of a bad pitch (which the opposition always manage to overcome).

    Sorrt David, he’s had his time.

    (Looking forward to your match report)



  2. Good analysis Mr Mosque. The above should be shown to our manager, as he still seems amazed and insulted if and when we complain.
    Last night’s first-half at Cambridge was quite possibly the worst 45 mins I’ve ever seen, in 36 years of watching Luton. No cohesion, no penetration and hardly two passes strung together. It got a bit better after the break, but still massively disappointing overall. RM’s reaction was to repeat over and again that it had been a “monumental effort” by the players. That is bad PR at best) and highly provocative (at worst). People are becoming genuinely fearful that we won’t even make the play-offs. And if we do, our form is so poor, we’ll blow it again.
    Personally i don’t give a monkey’s about the Micky Mouse FA Trophy. Already it has proved damaging to the promotion bid, if the first Mansfield tie made them tired last night (as Money claimed), plus causing fixture congestion next week and possibly beyond. How much more damage will it do?


  3. Money’s problem seems to me to be his poor integration of signings into the team and squad.

    Example 1: Danny Crow is on fire in pre-season, MBH is the “new signing” – first day of the season, Gallen starts the game. Consequence: Crow must be wondering what he has to do. He doesn’t really seem to have recovered from this knock to his confidence. At the same time, Money is antagonising his goalkeepers by rotating them until Pilkington show us what we all already knew at Tamworth: Tyler is the better ‘keeper (and we’re lucky to have him).

    Example 2: Jason Walker. This guy has hardly had a look-in since he arrived at the club, yet always looks lively when he does appear. One of the top scorers in the league when he arrived, now just looks surplus to requirements.

    Example 3: Alex Lawless. Guy looks class, and has played a few games, yet seems to get scapegoated in favour of Carden for ‘tougher’ fixtures. Here’s a thought: how about playing more defensively efficient wide-players (e.g. Howells/Wilmott) who are going to put a shift in to protect the back-four so that Keano doesn’t constantly look like a headless chicken when in fact he’s not? The Gnakpa/AMS thing hasn’t worked. Newton? Well we all know the answer to that one.

    This brings me to example 4: AMS. Looks to have all the makings of a good CENTRE-FORWARD (pace, skill, low centre of gravity), yet has appeared on the wing more times than not (ironically where our c-f positions himself more times than not). Out of position, he has lost confidence, and the guy does not look the same player.

    Put it this way: the defence isn’t too bad, especially as it does find itself “under siege” at times. It’s in the opposition’s half that the problems manifest themselves, and each of these issues (from the outside) looks like thay are made at least partly by mismanagement of people and resources. I really liked the look of the signings we made around the transfer window, but the team is worse now than it was then. Whilst Drury was a huge loss, the loss of form and confidence of new players at this club is truly shocking and is a cause for huge concern. Money has proven himself to be a stubborn man, and although he hasn’t warranted the levels of abuse he receives, I believe that it has affected his decision-making process regarding certain players (e.g. MBH/Newton), and is having a negative effect on the club as a whole; players and supporters.

    Given the chance, I don’t know what I’d say to him. One thing i do know is that if I was to be complimentary about the way the team are playing and the morale around the club (which, like it or not, the manager is largely responsible for)that I’d be lying. Big time.


  4. David, long time reader and very rarely disagree with what you say and I am not about to start now. 2 points I would like to make that probably means that Richard Money and Luton fans will never be a completely happy relationship.

    Firstly, I am getting increasing embarrassed of Luton fans for how fickle they are. I am sure the majority of Luton fans would disagree with me but being a season ticket holder, I have been to all but 1 game and when things are not completely rosey e.g drawing a game deep into the second half, Luton fans resort to moaning, groaning and booing if we misplace a pass or, heaven forbid, don’t win. This is of absolutely no benefit to the players or staff whatsoever. I go to the football with my old man and he is as fickle as they come and if MBH scored from the half-way line after beating 10 players, I am sure he wouldn’t clap because he is convinced he is not good enough. I agree that the jury is out on MBH but by shouting, cheering and making him feel like the best player since Pele, can only have a positive effect and we should be doing it for 90 minutes. Every person who has ever followed Luton, will still be smarting about how we ended up in the lowly position we have found ourselves in. There is no point in moaning about that because you cant change the past but you can influence the future but moaning, groaning and expecting every game to be a thrilling win, get real.

    Sorry for the rant fellow Luton fans, I cant help feeling that positive reinforcement is better than negative. However, one thing that Luton fans have every right not to be happy about is Richard Moneys interviews. This guy is a cross between Arsene Wenger and Stevie Wonder and that results in his post match interviews being about a game that none of the 6 or 7,000 spectators actually watched. He takes positive reinforcement to a whole new, unbeneficial level. We need some one who calls a spade a spade. Maybe not as antagonistic as Mr Newell but someone along the lines of Mick McCarthy. I think some of the players and I even include Captain Fantastic, George Pilkington in this, that no matter how bad they play, he will tell all after the game they were top-drawer and all is well. Continual praise does not work (nor does continual moaning) and players will begin to stagnate because they do not have to be at their best to be in the team next week.

    Maybe this post is bourne out of frustration at our slump in the last 4 or 5 games, but I do feel that Luton fans need to put their efforts into encouraging players instead of moaning and Richard Money needs to start being honest about the game.


    • Spot on – nothing more frustrating than fans who are constantly giving their own players abuse.

      So many players’ form is related to their confidence, as David eluded to in his analysis of Danny Crow’s form pre-season compared to his below-average return in the league.

      But, as is always the way, there’s not a lot we can do about the fickle fans who will boo every misplaced pass or wonky shot – and the team and Money have got to get used to the frustation, that won’t go away until we’re beating Leeds 5-1 in the Championship again.


  5. I think the frustration towards Mr Money is mainly down to the fact he is a poor manager, he cannot motivate a team, his team selections are as questionable as Mr Harford’s were and so are his substitutions. Jason Walker cost us £80k and is a proven goalscorer in this division, yet he can’t get on the pitch even when we are really struggling for goals. Also as mentioned above the Keane & Carden partnership is a complete failure, there is no creativity there.


  6. the poor results of recent weeks (and the subsequent fall from the automatic promotion race – unless you’re beyond optimistic) have coincided (darlo apart) with owuso coming into the team. it’s a shame cos he’s a good player who has been playing well. but the team haven’t figured out how to play with him. so he’s destabilised the team.

    that’s not on him. it’s on money.

    sure, it’s a very difficult league. but it’s also a very difficult league that in the time money has been in charge has been waltzed by stevenage and now crawley. so it’s not impossible to run away with it (it’s happened both seasons we’ve been here and many times before that). therefore, it’s not unrealistic at the start of the season to hope/expect Luton to win the league comfortably given the resources we have (including support).

    we won’t come any closer to winning the league this year than last. so we’re back relying on the play offs. i hope we win them, but our history in play offs suggests we’ll really struggle.

    everyone’s right. it’s absolutely not on to abuse anyone on the pitch or in the dugout (from either team). but you pay your hard earned and when you don’t get what you want, some people will take it out on those on the pitch and the dugout.

    but beyond this, another reality is that we’ve failed on the pitch too many times since money took over. we can’t regularly beat the top teams we need to beat to escape the league. money has had far more chances than harford (who only managed us without a points deduction for 10-15 games). that’s good in some ways but he should count himself at least a little fortunate given harford’s status at the club.

    generally, i don’t like instability at our club. another manager would be just that. but perhaps it will have to happen. perhaps even if we go up through the play offs.

    the board, the fans, the management and the players all need to be as one. unfortunately for everyone else, the one constant at Luton is the fans. So unless Money can find a way to ignore those that overstep the mark, accept genuinely deserved criticism from others, and acknowledge that a non league club with this many fans is a blessing and not a curse (yes even when those fans are us!) it is inevitable that he will have to go at some point. money seems at times to be bent on beating the fans. it’s an unwinnable battle.

    that’s just an unfortunate truth about football. the fans are the only constant and you can’t beat what’s constant.


  7. Looking at this psychologically, could we perhaps be witnessing the effects of good old fashioned pressure. From before the very first game of the season, the majority of fans expected us to walk it this season. And why not, with Oxford and Stevenage no longer in the way? Hasn’t happened though, has it? Up till a couple of weeks ago, it was just possible that Crawley would start to fade when we hit a streak of form. Now, surely even RM can’t claim the title’s still do-able. If the manager and team have felt under pressure to perform, then great, that’s what this game’s all about. But if they are buckling, for whatever reason, under the pressure of beating a struggling Cambridge, then something is surely not right.

    Perhaps when RM holds his hands up and conceeds that the only way out this season is via the play-offs, the pressure on the team will ease and we’ll see some coherence. Common sense, however, tells me that Money himself is under enormous pressure at the moment to keep his job. Maybe he senses (maybe he’s been told?) that if he doesn’t take us back into the league come May, he’ll be joing the ranks of the unemployed.

    As the old saying goes – when the going gets tough, the tough get going. The positive side of me is desperately searching for evidence of toughness.

    Re the negative element at the Kenny. It’s always been there, hasn’t it, to one degree or another? I remember in the good old days of the late sixties when we were (usually) in the same league as the team down down the road, it was expected we would win most if not every game. Certain players used to get a lot of stick (the manager was less visible then) when the team didn’t perform.


    • There has always been negativity. I have watched LTFC since 1947 and the crowd have always got on certain players back. If we encouraged these players I am sure they would have more composure especially in front of goal.

      I feel RM has too defensive an outlook and attack is the best form of defence. We made Cambridge ( a poor team) look good last night).


  8. Well I see now that fingers crossed RM has crossed over, could he be thinking the Trophy is more important than the league now ??He has to do something to keep his job what a concept !!This guy has lost the plot,any Hatter fan could run this club better than him.He has done a lot of damage not only to the club but also the players with his arrogent attitude GOODBYE RM ITS NOT BEEN A SLICE.Lets hope the faithful hatter fans dont drop away because of this trumped up fingers crossed wannabe.


  9. Unfortunately Richard Money started off on the wrong foot with the supporters almost from the moment he walked in. He finds taking criticism from anyone very hard to swallow, and he seems to sign, drop and discard players like they are Top Trump cards. He fiddles with team selection and tactics far too often, and as others have said he is turning decent players (at this level) into ordinary players. He also seems to have the same ability that a certain Mr Lawrence had in the mid to late 90s. His half-time team talks usually end up with us playing far worse in the second half of a game than in the first!

    He also seems incapable of making any tactical changes that can alter the outcome of games. When it’s obvious that some players within a game aren’t interested or are spent, he fails to take any action or only does it when it’s too late. I’ve always thought that the sign of a good manager isn’t apparent when things are going well, but the actions he takes to change things when they are going badly give a proper indication as to his tactical astuteness.

    Finally, what can be said about his post and pre-match interviews? It is obvious to me that every word that comes out of his mouth is designed to avoid upsetting or denting the confidence of his players and has nothing to do with the reality of what the supporters actually witnessed on the pitch during the game. I want an honest appraisal and not someone who dodges the issues 95% of the time. Who was the last manager to give us this? Joe Kinnear.


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