Luton Town have confirmed that Nathan Jones will return to the club as first team manager.
Jones returns for a second spell at Kenilworth Road, having left the Hatters in January 2019 to take over at Stoke City.
Nathan Jones will replace Graeme Jones as manager at the club, with the former Everton and West Brom coach leaving in late April.
Jones took over as Luton manager in 2016. He managed a play-off finish in League Two during his first season before winning automatic promotion into League One in 2017-18.
He was also in the run for automatic promotion out of League One when he left for Stoke in January 2019, with the club securing promotion to the Championship under Mick Harford. Harford will remain on board as Jones’ assistant.
When the current season stopped, Luton sat 23rd in the Championship table and 6 points from safety, although they were unbeaten in the 3 games before everything paused.
Speaking to the media after overseeing Luton’s first training session following the recent pause in action, he voiced his delight to be back.
He said, “It is weird because it’s like a scene from E.T. at the minute in terms of the quarantine and the testing, because obviously all the league’s protocols are in place so it’s very surreal.
“But it feels like home that’s the thing. That was another big thing to come back was because people say ‘well, you shouldn’t go back’. But this is the same group. Apart from Alan Sheehan, James Justin and Jack Stacey, it’s the same group and long-term they are misses, but it’s the same group.
“For me it was very, very important that the move I made after Stoke was one that I felt immensely comfortable with in terms of believing I can do good work here.
“There’s no better club. There’s no club that I’m more familiar with, and there is no club I am more motivated to do well for than this one. Never mind what happened, that has just raised my motivation but in terms of this move.
“It’s one I was very motivated for and I had a great desire to do it because one, the familiarity, I know what’s here and I’m excited again to work with that.”
Luton also confirmed yesterday (28/05) that a salary deferral has been agreed between players and the club to assist with the club’s cashflow following the disappearance of matchday revenue. The agreement is backdated to the start of this month.
The club’s chairman Gary Sweet said, “Our players now have agreed a salary deferral which we are happy with and has taken place from the first of this month. That means that everybody now in the club is contributing to this coronavirus situation, so we’re in a good shape.
“It is absolutely vital and we were always confident that would happen. They were always willing to do it. It was always about the value and how, the terms and the conditions, but ultimately the PFA have got a lot to answer for, in my opinion.”