John Ellis profiles the former property developer who now owns Luton Town

Distinguishing Features: A remarkable resemblance to Rodney Bewes in his chubby middle manager period from the second series of Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads. For younger readers, this means Alan Sugar without the beard.

Habitat: The club offices. David was a property developer before – as he tells the tale – a golfing colleague informed him six years ago that Luton was up for the sale. “I bought the club in a 50-50 split with an accountant called Peter Nelkin. He cleared off a year later,” huffs David. Kohler took up running Luton full-time, and claims he is still living from the money he made in property. But he draws a £30,000 salary as the club’s Managing Director. These wages (along with his company car) still get David hate mail, but he’s not spat at quite so often in the street any more.

What use is he?
Since local MP Graham Bright got voted out at the election, it looks like the mythical new ground – talked about since 1984 – will finally get the go-ahead. The 20,000-capacity Kohlerdome, based on stadia from USA ’94, will feature a movable pitch transported by hovercrafts. And, no doubt, an undersea domain capable of destroying New York within seconds. New Labour, New Ground...

Who remembers his birthday?
Rupert Murdoch should do. David voted in favour of the Premier League/Sky bottomless cash bucket in the same season Luton got relegated, which probably explains why our missing out has left David as one of the Premier League’s most vocal opponents ever since. Those who’ll avoid David’s upcoming 39th birthday include David Pleat. As unpopular as Pleat was with the fans, David still threatened to take Sheffield Wednesday to court before Pleat could leave. A hilariously large settlement finally made Kohler popular with our fans.

Which international celebrity would he get on with?
Assuming James Bolam doesn’t count, it’s hard to say. Probably a big-shot moneymaker who threw it away for their personal obsession: Brigit Bardot, anyone.

Quote Unquote:
Compare and contrast: “Football is about passion, but you can’t run business on passion. Business is not a plaything.” (Feb ’93); “I don’t think small clubs will go to the wall: there’ll always be a mug like me to rescue them. And when we’ve had enough, there’ll be a bigger mug still waiting in the wings.” (May ’97)

From WSC 126 August 1997. What was happening this month

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