Millwall board to make long-term plan at annual summit

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CHIEF executive Andy Ambler says Millwall's board "will be planning for the next two or three years" during their annual end-of-season debrief.

The Lions' hierarchy, manager Neil Harris and key football staff are gathering at The Grove hotel in Hertfordshire, above, for three days of talks.

And following the club's relegation to League One, Ambler admits there has to be a fundamental change of approach at The Den – with an emphasis on long-term growth.

He said: "This week is about the future, moving forward and how we restructure. We will be planning for the next two or three years.

"What I will say about the past, and the chairman has said this as well, is that we've tended to take things year-by-year and focus on staying in the Championship.

"That's been difficult to do and some of our signings in recent years have been too short-term. We've got to change and go with a long-term strategy.

"Neil and Dave Livermore are crucial to that strategy, we've already restructured by bringing in a head of recruitment and we'll be advertising for a new U21s coach.

"That's a really important appointment because we need the right person to oversee our development squad, which is taking on a bigger emphasis.

"The aim is that when we come back to the Championship, we come back stronger."

The Lions will cut their cloth accordingly following the drop into League One, with the majority of the club's out-of-contract players expected to be released.

Harris said last week that he is already clear in his mind about who he wants to keep, and his retained list will be finalised over the coming days.

Asked about the financial impact of relegation, Ambler added: "Our income will drop by around £3million but Neil will have a competitive budget to work with.

"Our budget will probably be in the top three or four in League One. Last time we were in League One, we were top six budget-wise.

"John Berylson is committed to the club for the long-term and he's made that clear."

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

56 thoughts on “Millwall board to make long-term plan at annual summit

  • May 4, 2015 at 12:09
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    As long as they stick to their word and back bomber with a good budget then along with our promising youth we will do ok next season. Aim for the play-offs at least.

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    • May 4, 2015 at 14:09
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      @LETEMCOME: I have very little faith in what Ambler or Berylson have to say, but I do trust in Harris and what he's trying to do for our club. Fingers crossed - we deserve a decent season for a change.

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      • May 4, 2015 at 15:24
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        @Micky Lions: Ambler is a wrong un but would we get a better chairman than JB with us being in an area full of bigger clubs who is going to want to invest in us. Got to see what happens with regard to investment next season and hopefully they will give Bomber the funds to challenge. Like you said fingers crossed.

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  • May 4, 2015 at 12:16
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    Don't expect anything less than the playoffs nex season. Harris can change our club for the better. COYL

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  • May 4, 2015 at 12:22
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    Let's hope we don't sell any of our youngsters before we see them play for first team

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  • May 4, 2015 at 12:31
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    our under 21 coach has to be OKd by Harris and surely an ex Lion

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      • May 4, 2015 at 13:48
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        @colin66: I agree ... theres many but Neil has to have the final say in my opinion

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          • May 4, 2015 at 22:22
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            @potty1: I hope that was a joke. We saw what he did when he was involved with the club before. He has no understanding of football at all, he makes this obvious every week on bbc 1.

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  • May 4, 2015 at 12:56
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    "Our budget will probably be in the top three or four in League One. Last time we were in League One, we were top six budget-wise."

    Will make a nice change from being bottom 3 or 4 budget wise in the championship.

    Let's hope they've learnt that loan deals are both expensive and (for us at least) unsuccessful in getting good results.

    Most of us seem to agree that developing youth players is the way to go. Will be far cheaper wages, wanting to play and give their all and maybe even a decent fee for once if a bigger club makes an offer.

    We're starting to see the potential of some youth already so hopefully with a few shrewd additions (I want to see a solid defence next season, no more 4, 5, 6 goals being conceded!!!) we can be competitive and feature at the other end of the table.

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  • May 4, 2015 at 12:59
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    Bring Steve Gritt back to oversee the development of U21 and Frampton as his assistant to learn to one day take up that role as his own

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  • May 4, 2015 at 13:04
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    I noticed yesterday in an article that Wet spam and a few other clubs are interested in o'brian. Hopefully we keep hold of all our youngsters and turn them in to legends

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  • May 4, 2015 at 13:04
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    Nice of Ambler to let millwall use his house for the meeting..

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  • May 4, 2015 at 13:13
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    Bring robbo back from pompy and give him the under 21 has for players could do worse than look at some teams players who have got relegated like dean cox of orient and a young goalkeeper from lower league

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  • May 4, 2015 at 14:01
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    First bit of strategy is for Ambler to go, I notice no self-criticism from him pr anyone on the board for their ineptitude in appointing two poor managers, lack of funding and not appointing Neil earlier.
    The clear out must not only be amongst the playing staff but some of the clots on the board.

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  • May 4, 2015 at 14:16
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    The best outcome of this meeting would be ambler parting company with us. The fact there are 20 out of contract this summer speaks volumes of how the club is run. It has contributed to our relegation. The deals he has done and made over the past three year speak for themselves. Stayed up on the final day of the season 2013, 2014 and relegated with a game to go 2015. Can we trust him to run the club when we are in with a shout of starting afresh? Thank you. Close the door on your way out please.

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  • May 4, 2015 at 15:44
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    Has Carlos Edwards got his coaching badges? Could do a lot worse than make him u21 coach.

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  • May 4, 2015 at 16:17
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    In an ideal world the U21 coach would be an ex Lion, but it is more important to get the right person. After saying that I think Robbo is a good shout, knows and loves the club, has grown up with Bomber, JB and AA know exactly what they are getting and as a defender could double up as a defensive coach that Neil can bounce idea's off, could also treble up on pre-match talks if the Huddersfield play off game was anything to go by http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/sport/football/article2530306.ece
    If I was a betting man, I would have a sneaky fiver on Robbo already applying for the job.
    I would also love the club to include Carlos both as a player, if he can return fit, motivator and role model.

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    • May 4, 2015 at 16:51
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      I think Robbo would be a good choice for the u21s, he has the proper approach to the game, as does Carlos. A bigger worry than the U21s is getting the first team defence strengthened and organised so the younger players progress to something that works.

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  • May 4, 2015 at 16:30
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    Who's getting released, any ideas boys and girls?

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    • May 4, 2015 at 20:29
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      @dpendet: Don't know, but here's my list-
      Forde, Dunne. Shittu, Hoff, Hoyte, Woolford, Beevers, Fuller and Marquis. i also think Edwards will be medically retired as we can't afford to pay wages to some one who isn't going to be ever.present.
      That list doesn't include those on loan but I'd keep Hooliveld and Taylor-Fletcher.
      I like Bailey but don't think he's in Bomber's plans.
      We've got Fred and Goodman coming back and I'd keep those two.
      As for the Under 21's I'd recruit someone with experience. Not a Millwall 'ex' just to keep the continuity. Someone with proven experience.
      At the end of the day, I'd like Bomber to get on with revamping Millwall and put our trust in him.

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      • May 5, 2015 at 07:48
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        @NICKOLA: I will add Gregory. Very poor signing. Very poor player. And most importantly cannot score. He has cost us dear this season with all the chances he has missed. The one at Rottingham when we are 1-0 up and he can kill the game sticks in the mind. Season defining moment. He froze. He is out of his depth. Any team is only as good as its strikers. On this yardstick, he has to go.

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          • May 5, 2015 at 10:58
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            @82wall: §§Really. He is as poor a number 9 as I have ever seen in a Millwall shirt. His goal record is living proof. He can't score. Back to the conference please. Dunno says we didn't score enough goals to say up. we all know who is talking about.

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        • May 5, 2015 at 09:22
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          @Glasshalffull: This is why I can't take this site seriously.. Clueless morons or wind up merchants??
          I hope the latter but... Clueless, definitely clueless

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          • May 5, 2015 at 10:18
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            @ettieneverveer:
            Agreed. Been getting 'disliked' for months because Ive said similar. Love it! Even had one boy/man say to me "I fickin hate U" .... I wouldn't mind if he f***** hated me but to fickin hate me is taking the p***. Unless of course he is Irish.

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  • May 4, 2015 at 17:52
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    The best thing for all involved is if ambler sling his hook! Could do with a Russian billionaire not a yank millionaire!

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  • May 4, 2015 at 18:05
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    What we have been reading and hearing of , all looks good for next season, get rid of the dead wood, have a young hungry squad, just keep the young strikers ,let them be hungry to get in the starting line up with the strikers we could get 3 or 4 goals a game.
    But we need to look hard at our defenders, look how bad it was against Wolves, no good scoring lots of goals , then letting in more against us.
    Overall it can be an exciting new team ,aiming for the top of league one , then be ready for the Championship the year after.....
    A young squad developing together for Millwall Football Club.
    Could we be a team growing together just like Man Utd , with the likes of Scoles, Becham, Giggs, Nevilles and Butt.
    That is what we need.......as belong as we do not sell our best .

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  • May 4, 2015 at 18:34
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    We have and will always remain a selling club. Millwall is no different from any lower league football club. If the right price is offered for a young player they will sell it is a business

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    • May 4, 2015 at 18:53
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      @markas: Trouble is we dont sell for the right price,we give our players away,always have.

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    • May 4, 2015 at 18:54
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      @markas: if that lot on the board was to take a pay cut we wouldn't have to sell anyone

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        • May 5, 2015 at 14:13
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          @Glasshalffull: if you was a ceo of a company do you think he would be earning the same as a fork lift driver..answer not guess work.

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  • May 4, 2015 at 19:18
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    Would be nice if two idiots of the team did not go into certain nightclubs in new cross saying do you know who I am when we have just been relegated? one being the one who could not score a goal until a recent hat trick so don't wind us up p*****. Grow up, had I been there I would have taken you back to the games you never performed in.

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  • May 4, 2015 at 21:11
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    First line of the meeting will be.
    "Well we have managed to f*** up the last 3 years, what do we do now Neil".

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  • May 4, 2015 at 21:12
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    First line of the meeting will be.......
    "Well we have managed to f*** up the last 3 years, what are we going to do now Neil".

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  • May 4, 2015 at 21:23
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    Nice place for there annual p*** up. It can't be for anything else coz f*** all got done last year or the year before.

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  • May 4, 2015 at 23:23
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    Lol planning for the next 2 or 3 years!! These c@nts couldn't plan for tomorrow

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  • May 5, 2015 at 07:56
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    Willie Donachie, who I thought was a good manager sacked to soon, used to say that you need big strong men to get out of League 1 and he is right. Look at the teams at the top this season. They aren't full of kids. We are deluding ourselves if we think playing kids alone will get us promoted.

    The other thing you notice about the top teams in L1 is that they use the loan system wisely.

    We ignore both of these things at our peril.

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    • May 5, 2015 at 09:07
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      @Glasshalffull:
      Agree about the league 1 thing, you need more than kids to get out of that league. And I would like to think we will sign an experienced striker and an experienced centre half. But I cant agree about donachie! Although what he may of said is correct.

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  • May 5, 2015 at 08:30
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    Honestly if people really think we are going to be promoted at the first attempt I'd love to share your enthusiasm but it's not going to happen. Need a new bk 4, goalie, and 2 strikers who will put it about! Unless we sign these don't expect nothing but another mediocre season again!

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  • May 5, 2015 at 10:24
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    I wonder - does the fan on the board go to the strategy summit - does anybody know?

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  • May 5, 2015 at 10:40
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    I do get the feeling that we will do well next season, see no reason as to why we cant get promoted, good youths and hopefully some good new signings at the back and up front

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  • May 5, 2015 at 11:23
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    Sure it's not just me but the fact that we're now £3m worse off, why can't they save money and have this 3 day meeting at the Den?!

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  • May 5, 2015 at 11:37
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    Don't Hold Your Breath Down 3 Mil Allready Hollow head Spunked The Money In The Jan Sales Them P off With His Page Off The Board Will Come Up With All The Excuses Not Enough Heads Thru The Turnstiles Means No Money So No Decent Forwards Or Defenders Coming In Just Hope Harris And Livermore Have Got The Balls To Get What They Want Out Of This Board And Don't Let Ambler Do The Negotiations I Rest My Case

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    • May 5, 2015 at 13:22
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      @S.A.S:

      Exactly mate, £3m worse off although the inbuilt clauses into players contracts means that they'll automatically have a pay cut and quite right and with gate receipts inevitably slumping although ST sales are up slightly year on year. The only way will be for JB to personally dig deep and fund money out of his own pocket - you'd think.

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