Luton Town’s home match against Derby County on Saturday will be played behind closed doors despite being initially chosen as a game for trialling fan returns.
The Championship game at Kenilworth Road had originally been announced by the EFL as one of 10 games to be played this weekend with 1,000 fans, as part of a pilot scheme to help fans return to professional football games in England.
But later in the same day that it was announced Luton would be taking part in this trial event, the Bedfordshire club announced that they did not have enough time to prepare and as a result would not do so, with the game remaining behind closed doors.
The Hatters are one of two clubs to drop out after originally being announced. Morecambe had originally been intending to have fans in for their meeting with Cambridge United in League 2, but they also chose not to go ahead.
Luton’s statement read, “On Tuesday at around midday, having received an email from the EFL asking for clubs to volunteer to take part, we put ourselves forward. We responded within the hour because, like many clubs, we are desperate to have our supporters back inside Kenilworth Road.
“To stage a game with supporters here would take a lot of preparation time, and unfortunately, despite asking again from very early this morning, we had heard nothing from the League until a few minutes before they issued their statement stating that we were one of the clubs taking part.
“Sadly, this does not give us enough time to get ready so we are unable to host spectators here for the Derby match.
“We understand that the EFL are beholden to DCMS, but to request clubs to offer and then not back up quickly, knowing there is such little time to prepare, is very disappointing and we are sorry to disappoint supporters who may have raised hopes of attending Saturday’s match.
“We remain committed to working with the EFL, DCMS, SGSA and local authority to getting our wonderful supporters back inside the Kenny as soon as is safely possible.”