Paul Buckle: Luton Town boss leaves for personal reasons

 

Luton Town boss Paul Buckle has left the club by mutual consent for unspecified personal reasons.

The 42-year-old, who has been at Kenilworth Road for less than a year, led the Hatters to an FA Cup victory over Premier League Norwich last month.

Luton went on to draw at Macclesfield hours after after Buckle's departure on Tuesday night.

Buckle's Luton tenure

  • Won four of final six league games last season to secure a play-off spot
  • Went on to lose to York City in the play-off final, a fate they suffered for the second consecutive season
  • This season Luton embarked on a remarkable FA Cup run, beating Cambridge, Nuneaton, Dorchester, Wolves and Norwich
  • But the league form has faltered, with just 13 wins from 28 this term and no victories in their last four

Luton said Buckle's exit was "a result of genuine personal circumstances unrelated to his tenure as manager".

A club statement added: "The reasons for Paul's departure are fully understood by the board, who sincerely regret that he is leaving.

"We are fully aware that achieving managerial stability will create the conditions necessary for success on the football pitch.

"We are grateful to Paul for what he has brought to the club and believe that he has built the foundations necessary for Luton Town to achieve the board's desire of returning to the Football League as soon as possible.

"A further statement will be made tomorrow [Wednesday] morning. In the meantime, we are concentrating our efforts on tonight's game."

Buckle succeeded Gary Brabin at Luton in April last year, steering the Hatters towards the play-offs but subsequently losing the final to York City.

The former Torquay and Bristol Rovers boss remoulded his squad in the summer in an attempt to end Luton's four-season exile from the Football League.

But their Blue Square Bet Premier form has been inconsistent this season and they are currently nine points off a play-off place with three games in hand and winless in their last four league fixtures.

It was in the FA Cup though that Buckle impressed while at Kenilworth Road, masterminding a third-round victory over Championship Wolves and then becoming the first non-league team to beat a top-flight side since 1989 by overcoming Norwich City.

Luton bowed out of the competition with a 3-0 loss to Millwall on Saturday, which proved to be Buckle's final game as Hatters manager.

Their new manager will be their eighth in 10 years.