Millwall chief won't cash in on youngsters after relegation

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

JOHN Berylson says Millwall won't be selling any of their young players this summer as the club prepares for life in League One.

The likes of Fred Onyedinma, Sid Nelson, Jack Powell and Aiden O'Brien could all feature heavily for the Lions in the third tier next season.

O'Brien was this week linked with Swansea, West Ham and Everton, while Onyedinma's form for loan club Wycombe has attracted admiring glances from bigger clubs.

But Berylson, speaking after relegation from the Championship was confirmed, said:

"I'm not giving anybody up. Nobody has a 'for sale' sign around their neck.

"The only important player I have ever sold was Steve Morison for over £2million, and I had to do that because he wanted to leave."

Millwall lost their Championship status on Tuesday after three years of struggle.

And Berylson admits there are important lessons to learn from relegation.

"Our continued dependence on the loan system, veteran players and short-term contracts was wrong," he said.

But Berylson has defended the club's decision not to sack Ian Holloway after the Lions were thrashed 4-0 by Bradford in the FA Cup in January.

Many feel that a change of manager at that stage could have prevented relegation, but Berylson said:

"I was not comfortable with the other options out there. Other managers could smell blood in the water and we were getting phone calls.

"I didn't like what I heard. At that stage of the season, we would have had to make a permanent appointment."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

29 thoughts on “Millwall chief won't cash in on youngsters after relegation

    • April 29, 2015 at 13:34
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      @thecolumbusblock: JB is a good guy, but his principles have had a very high price. This is a business he is running, it is not a place for piety, he could and should have got rid of the cretin Holloway much sooner.
      Actually he should never have appointed that serial failure in the first place.

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      • April 29, 2015 at 15:11
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        @Jzero: The truth is we have very few players of any real value. Unlike when we were relegated in 1996 and the firesale in 2005, the squad assembled during our stay in the Championship has probably been the weakest at this level in living memory - even worse than the 1979 team.

        Much of the blame for our plight has to go the managers - especially Holloway. But I'd like to hear Ambler and Berylson admit how badly they themselves got things wrong. I'm pleased to see Neil being given the chance, but personally, I doubt we'll ever be competive again at Championship level under the current ownership.

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        • April 29, 2015 at 22:12
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          @Micky Lions: JB accepted the player strategy has been wrong in the article above and so surely it will be changed.
          And it must be a benefit that players are unlikely to attract big bids as a squad can be built from what is wanted from what is here?
          There are a lot of poor sides in the championship even where money has been spent, but sides with a good structure and ethos and remarkably little spending have been successful (Burnley or Bournemouth for example). Lets hope Neil can get the structure and ethos right and bounce straight back up!

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  • April 29, 2015 at 13:23
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    As they sat in the us..your talking b*******.
    Coco lost the dressing room long before bradford.plus how would you know what was going on 3000 miles away

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  • April 29, 2015 at 13:28
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    Once again I feel for you JB. Badly advised and more money down the swanny. Let's stick together now and get back to being Millwall. Let anyone leave that wants to leave, appoint Neil 'Bomber' Harris, Get the youngsters in there and get some fans through them turnstiles. Oh and get someone in the ticket office with a brain cell! Looking forward to next season,4 new away grounds I think?

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  • April 29, 2015 at 13:29
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    Lets hope he he keep to his word...after over 60 years of following MIllwall I have heard the same things many times before...speculate to accumulate but if any of the youngsters do go then I think we will be a worse situation, and and none of us want that

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  • April 29, 2015 at 13:36
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    Cant understand this being said, they are our future and in a way this will be an ideal division to develop them, with a mixture of players that have a proven record in this division (under 30 thou) I am sure Neil will make a success of it next season we may need to give him some time but I am sure he will be a proper Millwall manager as he was a player and the same goes for Liver's .

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  • April 29, 2015 at 13:44
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    "The only important player I have ever sold was Steve Morison for over £2million, and I had to do that because he wanted to leave."

    If a Premiership or Championship team offers Powell, O'Brien or Fred a better contract and the chance to play at a higher level, all of them will want to leave. Personally I would be very surprised if we can keep hold of all of them in League 1.

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    • April 29, 2015 at 14:17
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      @pier0: thats cos a player wants out you dont have to let him go.take the club he signed for .(Norwich)..1st season he was there holt scored alot of there goals..then asked to be released..Nfc said no..and he was then the clubs top scorer..as for getting 2m stevenage got 750,000

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      • April 29, 2015 at 14:30
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        @Jim28: True, they can always be turned down if they request a release. But usually a player who is not committed isn't going to give his all. When it become clear that Henry, Trotter and Feeney wanted to leave I don't remember them putting in sparkling performances, or was that just coincidence?

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  • April 29, 2015 at 13:44
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    'Millwall chief won't cash in on youngsters after relegation'

    I should bloody hope not!

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  • April 29, 2015 at 14:13
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    i dont understand all this speculation - o'brien has had a few good games - he aint 17 , hardly a star in the making - fred is playing in league 2 so one would hope he would look decent - and who else might we lose?? no-one - powell is not even playing - sid had done well considering but you could say that about loads of kids his age - the bigger question is why would they leave to sit on the bench or play in the reserves somewhere - if we can't keep these kids then we are in a terrible state and Ambler should resign forthwith

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  • April 29, 2015 at 14:33
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    Thinking of the team for next season, forward players, O'brien, Gregory, Pavey, Phillpot and we will probably re-sign Marquis, that looks Ok, midfield, Jimmy. Powell, Williams, PCH, Woolford, would like Bailey on a ' pay and play' basis, if possible, defence, Cummings, Nelson, Goodman ( not sure who else)
    Good chance to out Forde, King or Archer in, so all-in-all not bad, NH & DL a must as the management team

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  • April 29, 2015 at 14:36
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    Think all the young lads - Fred Onyedinma, Nelson, Powell, O'Brien and Cowan-Hall will have big seasons next term, sign them all up on lengthy contracts to keep the big boys away. Gregory also has the potential to find the target next season, find him a striking partner early into summer to take the all of the pressure off of him and to avoid disappointment.

    Balance between youth and experience will be key for L1, as long as the players are up for the fight there's no reason why we wont be back up next season looking down at Rottwum..

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  • April 29, 2015 at 15:01
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    Sorry JB should hard working millwall supporters be grateful for that ? I also disagree about the loans policy if done properly it can work its doesn't work when you have 3 or more loan players at the club all playing because its hard to develop young players if they have no real match time just look at Nelson, Obrien they have both come on loads , adding the occasional season long loan player helps Kane , Townsend are two that come to mind .
    Obviously it doesn't feel great now being relegated but it may just turn out to be a blessing in the long run , if we struggled for the 3rd year running in the championship it might have just ruined some of the youngsters progression and even Bombers as our manager im under no illusions that getting out Div 1 will be easy but im surprisingly optimistic .

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  • April 29, 2015 at 15:16
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    @ WELLER: in your midfield you have not mentioned UPSON probably the best of the lot and LEE MARTIN who are both our players , not loanees

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  • April 29, 2015 at 15:27
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    Hope to f*** we keep the youngsters and they haven't all become disillusioned by the day to day running of the football club

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  • April 29, 2015 at 15:30
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    Lots of similarities between when Rhino took over s ghe weeded out the dead wood and introduced homeggrown talent which achieved big success. It was a shame the way things ended for Rhino and Macca and paved the way for McGhee to win the league and almost take us to the premiership.

    I would love Harris to be able to achieve success and be given the time to finish the job, how realistic that is remains to be seen.

    Some fans turned on Rhino and Macca just before thier sacking, I truly hope Harris never has to suffer the same indignity.

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  • April 29, 2015 at 15:35
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    Let's be honest: these youngsters (if they are as good as we believe them to be) will be sold eventually. One of the main points of having a youth academy is to produce saleable assets and bring money into the club. Bournemouth have sold more than a full team of youth academy products over the last three or four years, and reinvested the fees in replacements and improving facilities. It's one of the only ways a club of our size can progress. We just have to make sure that we get a decent amount of playing time out of these kids before they go and have ready-made replacements coming through behind them.

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  • April 29, 2015 at 15:48
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    It astounds me how the likes of Everton and Swansea are supposedly looking at OBrian, OK he's got potential but he's only just broken into the first team and he's scored 1 goal I think!!!

    Let's see what he can do if he plays a full season in league 1,same with the likes of Fred, Powell and even Nelson who has had a longer spell in the first team recently.

    Don't want to be putting too much pressure on the youngsters too early, I'll be happy with a top ten finish next season,perhaps a push at the play offs.

    It'll be interesting to see what Harris does in the transfer market having never been involved before, we all seem to be accepting this relegation pretty well and general view is it could make us stronger, the lessons need to be learnt and I hope Harris is given time.

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  • April 29, 2015 at 15:53
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    It is interesting J.B refers to the Morison transfer,that is when our troubles began,we sold out top scorer and failed to reinvest the money in a long term replacement,from then on it has been a slow but steady decline.

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  • April 29, 2015 at 18:30
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    What's Woodford done to deserve a new contract ?,marquis flopped at us ,Pompey,cobblers,we struggle and he's the best since sliced bread lol after scoring a few goals , Martin and and gueye need to start showing their potential in 90+ mins games and not just fleeting glimpses when they feel like it, got a good young nucleus of talent that needs adding to especially up front , and Berylson/ambler ,can they make us more competitive if we get back up?,let's see if they can walk the walk.

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  • April 29, 2015 at 19:28
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    Ok JB your dithering about sacking IH earlier has cost us relegation had Neil been made manager 10 games earlier we would have avoided relegation
    Now slash season ticket prices and on the day admission so the Den is rocking you seen what a good crowd can do in the last 3/4 home games
    Don't think about it do it lets see your true colours where waiting ?

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  • April 29, 2015 at 22:14
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    Great 2 hear we not sell in our best players played john let get promotion NOLU WDC

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