The Coca-Cola League Two side will start the new season on -30 points after being hit with the deduction today as they were unable to agree a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) to exit administration.

They had already been deducted 10 points by the Football Association last month for breaching regulations over payments to agents.

But this latest deduction means they will start the season knowing they face an uphill battle to avoid relegation out of the Football League.

The club went into administration in November last year and were automatically deducted 10 points as a result.

And the Football League have now followed the precedent they set with Leeds last season by inflicting a further deduction on the Hatters.

Leeds were deducted 15 points after they also failed to obtain a CVA, and despite taking the matter to court, the deduction was upheld.

And Mawhinney admits the Football League Board must ensure such penalties are levied.

He said: "The board's primary responsibility is to protect the integrity of their competitions.

"This often means making difficult decisions which require balancing the interests of fans, the club's creditors and the other teams in the League.

"We will continue to that responsibility very seriously."

A takeover has been agreed by Luton Town 2020 and it was after they applied to come out of administration that the board decided to impose the deduction.

As well as suffering the unprecedented points deduction, the club's new owners must pay their creditors 16p in the pound in order to be allowed to compete in the Football League this season.

A Football League statement said: "Luton Town were unable to agree a CVA with their creditors and as a consequence are unable to satisfy the normal conditions of the League's insolvency policy for exiting administration.

"The board decided, however, that they were prepared to exercise their absolute discretion under their 'exceptional circumstances' provisions in order to accommodate the new entity."

The club were unavailable for comment.